Meet in the Middle
The Twilight Zone reboot last year served up a disappointing array of episodes mixed in with some mediocre efforts. It was so disappointing infact, it even made our list of Top TV Disappointments for 2019.
Back for a second season and released all in one hit this time, CBS’ Twilight Zone returns for a slightly better array of episodes but a selection of sci-fi that just can’t match up to the excellent original all those years ago.
Episode 1 of The Twilight Zone Season 2 begins with an introduction to a lonely bachelor named Phil. He ends up on an awkward date with a girl called Julia. Midway through talking however, Phil hears the echoing voice of someone nearby. The cacophonic whispers become unbearable, and as he heads to the toilets Phil manages to strike a deal with the voice to stop talking.
The next day Phil heads to see a therapist, who’s sceptical to say the least. As the voice cuts in again, they begin talking and it prompts Phil to walk out mid-session. Instead, he starts getting to know the woman, whose real name is Annie, and they affectionately refer to themselves as a “telepathic Bonnie and Clyde”.
As snow blankets the ground, Phil spends his days talking and getting to know Annie. Things are great until he suggests they meet up and get to know one another properly. Only, it turns out she’s actually married which throws a big spanner in the works. She’s not happy in her marriage though and they continue to talk, just as before.
After several weeks of happiness, Annie breaks the connection off with Phil who drowns his sorrow in alcohol. Things go from bad to worse… until Annie starts talking to him again and they decide to meet after all.
As Phil excitedly boards the train over, Annie communicates with him and tells Phil she’s being followed, prompting him to rush off the train at her station and try to find her.
Phil continues searching and finds himself confronting a man whom he believes has taken Annie. Beating him to a bloody pulp, Phil delivers a crushing, murderous blow as Annie suddenly shows up with her kid.
It turns out, Phil has actually killed her husband. However, she feigns ignorance and pretends not to know who Phil is. As the police arrive, they arrest him for murder.
Phil is taken away to the police station while Annie cuts back in again telepathically and admits she used him to kill her husband to give themselves a better life, which is where the episode ends.
With an episode that relies solely on Phil finding Annie, at her house no less, the plot contrivances pave way for some questionable characterisation for Annie herself. She claims to want a better life for her daughter but given we know nothing about Annie’s husband, her daughter is now going to be traumatized for the rest of her life after witnessing her Father being killed.
Despite all this though, the episode does a pretty good job keeping the sci-fi elements running throughout but it does feel a tad overlong for the story it tells. Still, the episode does enough to keep you invested but let’s hope there’s better episodes ahead.