Episode 4 of The Twilight Zone Season 2 begins with a woman named Evie struggling to smile amid rapturous applause. As she leaves, she hands over a pendant to a busker named Jasmine. As she walks away, she’s hit by a bus. After witnessing this shocking incident, Jasmine heads out with her guitar and plays a song in memoriam.
As the crowd hear her playing they begin clapping her efforts, prompting a producer named JJ to arrive, excitedly promising to make her a star. On a talent show called Ovation, Jasmine impresses the judges and various audience members, who approach her in the street and start cheering and applauding her while she’s out for a run with her sister.
This applause eventually spills over to her performance on stage too, where the clapping overwhelms her mediocre-at-best guitar playing. On social media, Jasmine receives constant messages with clapping hands when she wakes up and outside her house, a crowd gathers with signs.
The applause continues as she heads onto a talk show, where her voice is drowned out by the cheering. The constant cacophonic noise is too much for her to bear and she heads out to a cabin in the middle of the woods, desperate for tranquility. She finds herself unable to let the emblem go though and keeps it in her possession.
Living in solitude, Jasmine’s only source of news comes from a magazine but as a new edition shows up, Jasmine’s sister happens to be on the front cover. She realizes, to her horror, that she’s taken the pendant and currently reveling in the fame she once had.
Heading back to the streets again, Jasmine finds herself back to being a nobody and secretly wishing for the same applause to be in her name again. As a bus passes, she notices a sign for an upcoming show featuring her sister and heads there with a knife in hand. After stabbing her own family in a bid to seize the pendant, she realizes what she’s done as Jasmine’s sister drops down and opens her hand, revealing the pendant within.
As Jasmine listens to the applause, our narrator grabs the pendant and stuffs it in his inside jacket, joining in with the applause which is where the episode ends.
As a satire piece about fame and how people blindly follow celebrities then The Twilight Zone does an excellent job capturing that. However, this also feels very similar to The Comedian episode last season which also revolved around the peer pressure of fame and being desperate for attention. Instead of laughs, this time we get a pendant and clapping.
In that respect, it does take some points away from this episode but the dark satire on celebrity culture and blind worship is certainly something that helps elevate this episode and offer up some thought provoking drama. It’s not perfect, but it is probably the best of the bunch so far in this anthological collection.