Twisted Metal – Season1 Episode 1 “WLUDRV” Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Twisted Metal introduces us to the show’s cinematic universe. The story is set in an apocalyptic future where 20 years ago a mysterious bug made all computers non-operational. Due to our intimate connection and square dependence on technology, life descended into anarchy. Power grids failed, all notions of civil life eroded, and cities walled themselves for protection. There were those who remained inside and others who were relegated to the outside. The latter were primarily criminals and thugs who were a menace to society.

But there was also a third category of people, like our charming protagonist John Doe (Anthony Mackie). These “Milkmen” served as delivery men who risked their lives and went from city to city delivering packages in return for commissions.

The risk for these Milkmen comes from outsiders that John Die calls “vultures,” who want to thieve and loot at every opportunity. John Doe’s life turns around when he visits New San Francisco. He is called inside by their new COO, Raven, which is a huge deal. John is naturally confused and his sceptical assertions come true when he learns why Raven needs him. She wants him to deliver a package that is in New Chicago.

That place is quite far off and too risky to travel to alone. Raven recognizes that it would take something extraordinary to convince him. So, she gives him a tour of the place and a chance of redemption: a place he can call home. You see, most of these closed-off colonies are just like normal life, with some added scrutiny and security. In fact, they are normal life. Seeing the stakes, John agrees to bring the package from New Chicago back to New San Francisco, where he will be made an official citizen by Raven.

Before he leaves, John has dinner with Raven’s family. Her husband Noah, brings in their newborn, Dove, who is particularly peculiar to John. He has never seen a baby before and seeing the family reminds him of his own. His parents did not survive the apocalypse and he has a photo of them that he frequently looks at longingly.

John begins his adventures with only ten days to complete the mission. Any second later and the deal expires. Now John does not know what is in the package…so there are definitely surprises waiting for him ahead. 

There is a surprise behind him as well that he isn’t able to see. Noah isn’t Raven’s husband and Dove isn’t their baby. This was all a ruse to get John to deliver the package.

We turn out attention to our other protagonist, Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz), who is caught with her brother, Loud, by law enforcement in Nevada. This officer – Agent Stone – is from the Bratton School of Thinking. Even though the crimes of the siblings were petty, Stone thinks these small fires must be put out before they can turn into bigger ones. He offers them a choice – either he kills them, or one of them kills themselves to save the other. Loud chooses to save Quiet. 

John makes a stop at Tommy’s, an old friend of his, to procure a map. But Tommy turns apprehensive when John mentions he is heading East. Tommy warns him that the route to New Chicago is unlike anything he has ever seen. The risk John is taking is extreme. But John knows the rewards for the risks and begins his journey.

The episode ends with the meeting of our protagonists, John and Quiet. She stops him at gunpoint as he is entering “Lost” Vegas. But visual cues like her cut-off finger and the fact that she is wearing Loud’s jacket suggest to John that she is “hurting.” The ruler of Vegas, Sweet Tooth, ominously heads toward them in his van as John tries to convince Quiet to join hands with him – for now.

The Episode Review

The premiere of Twisted Metal is a stunning start to things. Episode 1 sets the tone of what to expect and went by in a flash. The half-hour format is the perfect choice for a universe as fast-moving and fickle as Twisted Metal. We did not witness too much incorporated from the game as the format of the storytelling is different. But the characterisation of the universe does show promise that it might remain authentic to the game’s world.

Anthony Mackie and Stephanie Beatriz look good on the screen together. The actors seem like the perfect profile to carry forward the combination of funny, dramatic, and action-man of the show. This show has all the makings of a cult classic with its offerings. If the follow-through can be as good, Twisted Metal will be a show to remember.


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You can read our full season 1 review of Twisted Metal here
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