Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 2 “Downtime” (B)

I was surprised to see that this episode was only thirty-one minutes long, and it’s interesting to think that the timing actually worked pretty well, even if the content didn’t seem quite as substantive as other installments. I was immediately entranced by the central performance by Morena Baccarin, a familiar face from “Homeland,” “V,” and “Firefly,” as she talked at rapid speed and told a humorous story about Canadians right before she scored a major promotion at work. The unusual circumstances quickly made themselves known when she went outside, and it was indeed eerie seeing her panicked and running through the streets with everyone else frozen and looking up at the giant eye in the sky. Colman Domingo from “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Zola” had a brief but memorable role as Carl, who slipped into a strong accent before looking right into the sky, and Serinda Swan from “Marvel’s Inhumans” was Ellen, who appealed to her husband to remember that he was just inhabiting this virtual body of Michelle. The tech support representatives appearing in a disarmingly casual manner, and even the supervisor, Tom, played by Tony Hale from “Veep,” was relatively friendly and non-confrontational. The idea that Michelle could continue to exist here since Phineas had died after his heart attack was fascinating, and making that decision knowing that her world wasn’t real felt like the most typical embracing of this show’s dimensional concept: accepting that the world around you might not make sense and deciding to stay in it anyway.

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