Twisted Metal – Season1 Episode 3 “NTHLAW1” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of Twisted Metal begins with a flashback from 2002 when the bug shut down all electronics. The mall cop, who is presumably Agent Stone, is seen confronting the two ladies who froze after things went downhill.

John and Quiet are arrested and taken to a DMV-like area where they will give out Open Road Licenses. Driving without one will lead the fugitives down the red line, which leads to a bowl full of screams. Right now,  our protagonists are walking the purple line, which isn’t so bad.

While cleaning out Evelyn, Stu finds John’s picture of his family. He seems like a genuine, straight-up guy who hasn’t lost his innate goodness even after meeting Stone. The same cannot be said about Mike, who has drastically changed.

Shepard, Stone’s able deputy, finds a map from the car and is shocked at what he sees. The map is specially made to avoid all checkpoints and outposts, which does not sit well with the agent. Their facility is built on a river and Stone reveals that he is building a dam blockade nearby. As John is negotiating their release, Quiet spits on Stone, ensuring that he holds them for longer. He is also eager to learn who made John’s map.

We have another flashback which confirms Stone’s identity. His neighbours, a pregnant Margie and Rick, rob Stone since the supplies are scarce and it is every man for himself.

Mike and Stu get the duo forms to fill out. As punishment, they blare the “Barbie” song out loud in the background. They are then given an eye test with doses of mace, followed by signature waterboarding. But John still won’t give them the mapmaker’s name.

Stone sends them to the red line but not before mocking Loud’s choice for taking a bullet for Quiet. While waiting for their turns to “Scream,” John and Quiet discuss their families. An emotional John says that he does not remember his parents’ faces – no matter how hard he tries. He also explains how this job would get him back the feeling of “being part of something.” 

Their turns come together and they walk down the hallway, which directly leads them to a cliff. Stu points a gun at them and asks them to jump but John and Quiet psychologically manipulate Stu. He breaks them out and the plan is that he will leave with the duo. As John collects his keys and other supplies, Quiet takes off to avenge her brother.

In the next flashback, we see Stone being approached by a restaurant owner for help. Some goons have taken over his establishment. Stone goes in alone with his father’s gun. They turn out to be locals, who want to feed their families. When one of them begins to foul-mouth and berate him, Stone shoots all of them in a rage. That is how he became the “Stone” we know in the present day.

Quiet kills Shepard using the gun she stole by bashing his head in. Mike discovers the frayed zips and puts out an alert. John realizes that someone left Evelyn’s headlights on and the battery has died. He asks Stu to push from behind as the alarm rings in the background. Quiet shows up as well and the trio manages to escape… well, not exactly. The faulty trunk hits Stu right in the head and he falls unconscious. Quiet and John have no option but to leave him behind.

Quiet reveals that she saw a place on a map in Stone’s office; a sanctuary city in the Midwest that remained unaffected by the apocalypse – HQ, Topeka, the city where Stone is originally from.

The Episode Review

I really like how the creators of Twisted Metal are shoring up their cinematic universe by properly establishing each character. On this occasion, it was Agent Stone and his perceived inadequacies. You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his past and Stone’s mall-cop image gave us telling insights. There is a stark contrast in the profile of the two men but finally learning Stone’s motivations helps ground his character more firmly.

The sarcasm in this episode was a little off-point and felt jaded. The DMV scene was ill-conceived and did not have the desired effect the creators would have wanted.

More effort was needed in mapping the sequences around Quiet and John’s escape from the Dam facility. Quiet’s character development continued steadily with Shepard’s killing. This was perhaps needed to restore the balance she lost in life. It was brutal and exactly what was needed to shake things up. 

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