To say The Twilight Zone has been a mixed bag of quality this year would be an understatement. Back for another episode of sci-fi madness, The Twilight Zone returns with arguably its worst episode since it came back on air during this reboot, stooping to new lows in a nonsensical 40 minutes of chaos.
The episode itself begins with a man named Dylan plucking up the courage to ask his long-term crush at work out on a date. Annie accepts and the two hit it off together during dinner. As they admire the beautiful night sky, a meteor shower sends rocks crashing down to Earth so they go and investigate.
As an eerie vibe descends over the episode, Dylan picks up one of the rocks that’s fallen to Earth and takes it home. Once there, he puts on some music and the two begin kissing. This soon starts getting out of hand so Annie calls it a night and leaves. As she does, a large vein in Dylan’s head appears, along with bloodshot eyes, and he starts trashing his house.
Keeping her distance the next day, Annie heads to work only to find out she’s been paired up with Dylan for a work project. However, as she looks a little closer, it turns out everyone around her starts going crazy in a mad fit of rage. This climaxes later on that night at a bar where everyone goes insane and they all start smashing things up and fighting each other. As it happens, it turns out it’s just the men affected by this.
As Annie and Martha race through town and see numerous men going crazy, they make it to a facility where it turns out the meteor had no effect over the men at all, it was all just a placebo effect. The men could choose not to do these horrible things at any time but they decided against it, making the entire meteor shower a mere coincidence, despite the veins, bloodshot eyes and other physical transformations seemingly directly related to the stones. This unnecessary plot twist undoes 40 minutes of solid plotting in a heartbeat.
In a way, this episode of Twilight Zone is unfortunately similar to Game Of Thrones’ most recent episodes. Subverting expectations for the sake of subverting them isn’t good writing. It’s a cheap gimmick and something that Rian Johnson found out when making The Last Jedi and disbanding years of lore in the process. People don’t like it and it doesn’t work when the acting and stylistic flair aren’t used effectively enough to cover up these inconsistencies.
It’s such a shame too because there’s a lot of good work done here, despite the social connotations around male violence, but it’s squandered by a lacklustre end that offsets the entire premise. A shame for sure, but The Twilight Zone offers up a very disappointing episode and arguably the worst in the entire series.