The Twilight Zone has been a mainstay for me for most of my life. Along with Star Trek, The original Twilight Zone series was a one that I would watch regularly with my dad. Every night in syndication we would watch another of Rod Serling’s classic tales and I would find myself swept into another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.
Fast forward 60 years later and once again the journey into imagination has returned. This time however, writer Director Jordan Peele is at the helm and, after two successful films, he takes on the classic that started sixty years ago.
So, let’s explore the latest episode of The Twilight Zone with The Blue Scorpion
Professor Jeff Storck (Chris O’Dowd) comes home to find his father dead by apparent suicide. He soon finds an obsession with the gun his father used known as The Blue Scorpion. Now Storck begins his investigation into his fathers life using his skills as an anthropologist only to discover that some truths are best left in the Twilight Zone.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
What is it about our obsession with guns? There is almost a religious experience that comes with these dangerous weapons that are used for hunting animals and, too many times, killing people. These devices permeate pop culture being used by some of our favorite heroes to being the cause of some of our most iconic characters creations. In the news guns are talked about on a regular basis, most of these cases being a mass killing or other horrible events, yet, no matter the death toll, the obsession continues as if these devices are an extension of our very being. It seems if we were to shun them or to hide them away this act will cause even more damage than they already do on their own. In a way, it seems as if the curse that plagued Sarah Winchester has extended itself to everyone who has fired one of these devices and that curse is determined to get it’s payment in blood, anyone’s blood. That is where the Twilight Zone comes in.
Exploring the obsession that comes with gun culture, this episode follows a Professor Storck in his quest to find out why his father killed himself. In that quest he soon finds that the gun that was responsible for his fathers death has a strange curse attached to it, one that literally has bullets with peoples name on them. As we follow Storck, we are privy to the strange nature of humans to put the value of inanimate objects above that of the people around them. Even mundane items such as shoes and other everyday things, humans tend to find an attachment to things that is unhealthy at best. Humans fear for their objects in the same manner as they fear for their children and, sometimes, even more so. Many find that the value of owning these very things far outweighs the lives of those around them, or, in the case of guns, the lives taken by them.
The cast in this one is small, focusing on Professor Storck, played by Chris O’Dowd. I have been a fan of Chris O’Dowd ever since seeing him in the BBC series The IT Crowd. While he is known mostly for his comedy, in recent years this actor has really given himself a chance to grow by taking on more and more serious roles. Like with many of his previous roles, this episode really shows O’Dowds versatile strengths making him far more than just the comedic actor you may recognize him as. The rest of the cast is fantastic but the episode is really about O’Dowd’s character giving him the primary focus throughout.
Overall, this is by far one of the strongest episodes of the season so far. With a strong story and an excellent cast, it managed to give a well thought out statement on gun control, safety and obsession without beating you over the head with it. This is a great example of how The Twilight Zone can have a great balance between story and message echoing the nature of the classics in every way.
Interestingly, in many ways this episode is reminiscent of a 90’s Showtime series known as Dead Man’s Gun where each episode followed a Colt revolver through it’s various owners often resulting in less than favorable endings. Strangely enough, Dead Man’s Gun was also an anthology series much like that of The Twilight Zone.
With only one episode left in the series, this show has had some strong moments along with some seriously weak one’s. Will the series end on a high note? Well, stick around and find out.
Late To The Game 6/2/2019
Next Episode: Blurryman
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