Zach’s Zany TV Binge Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) Part 2 of 5: REPLAY and A TRAVELER

So a couple of weeks ago I said I was going to write reviews on two of the new Twilight Zone episodes at a time, seeing as I am a big fan. Well, the 4th episode dropped today and I watched it during lunch so here is part 2 of 5 (there are ten episodes). Another quick note on Jordan Peele’s intro/narrations. He is still fantastic and his intros are a nice warm welcome to the tales that are about to be thrown at us. While no one will ever reach the heights of Rod Serling, if they ever do a reboot again in another 20 to 30 years, no one will ever beat him…or Jordan Peele. Anyway, you are about to enter, The Zach Zany Zone….

REPLAY

I’ll give you a spoiler on the next episode with my review on this: the Twilight Zone is starting to get really, really good, as these two are easily the best episodes of the season thus far, this one just edging out A Traveler. REPLAY is about a woman taking her son to college that run into this asshole racist cop alone the way. There is a scuffle and the mother accidentally hits the rewind button on her old ass camcorder she happened to bring along to film her son going to college. When she hits the rewind button, she ends up going back in time at the diner that her and her son were eating at at the beginning of the episode, along with the asshole racist cop (this one contains Jordan Peele’s best intro narration, chilling, my only complaint of this episode is that its just his narration at the end and not his physical self, but that could be due to film scheduling conflicts).

The thing is though every different decision she makes after the first rewind, her and her son still find themselves running into the asshole racist cop, and she desperately tries to find a way to avoid him and get her son to college in one piece. This episode is excellent, and out of all the Twilight Zone episodes I’ve seen, this one is a pitch perfect emotional roller coaster ride. As you know Twilight Zone episodes mostly have twists at the end, and I was trying to guess this one, but instead I should’ve just stopped thinking and enjoyed the journey. I won’t say whether this episode has a twist or not, and there were several that I was thinking of that didn’t happen, but I’m very happy with the ending and route they took, it’s an almost perfect story. Sanaa Lathan stars as the mother, and she’s been in a bunch of things I have seen, Love & Basketball, Alien Vs. Predator, etc. This is easily her best performance. And as with all the other episodes, I’m loving the cinematography in these. Even if the episodes start to get worse after these two, at least it is still gorgeous to look at.

Rating: 5/5

A TRAVELER

This segment owes a debt of gratitude for the old classic The Monsters on Maple Street from the original series, but it is more of an homage with a twist. Starring Greg Kinnear and a wonderful performance by The Walking Dead’s Stephen Yeung, A TRAVELER is about a small town police station celebrating Christmas Eve. The Sheriff, played by Kinnear has a annual Christmas party where he pardons one (non huge offensive) inmate as a sign of good will. There is only one inmate this year, a deputy’s (played by Marika Sila) drunkard brother. When The Sheriff tells the deputy to fetch her brother and have him join them for the party, her brother is asleep, and sitting in the next cell, who wasn’t there before, is a man in a suit, first name A, last name Traveler (played by Yeun). He knows things, and what he knows, may get you in the end. That’s all I’ll say. If you have ever seen The Monsters on Maple Street, that may clue you into what is going on.

I figured out what was going on right away since I’ve seen that episode and guessed the ending. It really isn’t that hard and everything is set up at the beginning in a nice bow for predictable pay offs in the end. So normally I’d consider the episode ho-hum, but the atmosphere is just right, the acting is incredible, and everything is so so so gorgeous to look at. What is in a myth? What is in a lie? What is in the truth? When going back and thinking about the episode after it aired I realized there was much more to what I saw. Given the ending, there is a lot of interpretation in what anyone says, even those that have been close to you for a long time. And what is the meaning of acceptance. In the future, this episode might be more respected if viewers would open Pandora’s Box for themes and motifs. I have a feeling that a lot of people won’t like it. I did though, not just for the homages to the classic original series episode, but for new questions it brought to the table.

Rating: 4/5

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