Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Fair Warning)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by John Kretchmer

It has certainly been a while, but we are BACK with another episode of everyone’s least favorite Twilight Zone series!  Considering that I’m somehow spending even MORE time cooped up inside, it seemed like the perfect time to stop procrastinating on this series and give you the details you’ve been waiting for on a show that hasn’t been on the air for over fifteen years!  Is this a fantastic episode to return to, or were we all better off leaving this series in the dustbin of history?  Let’s find out!!

Our story begins with Tina Bishop (Taryn Manning who was one of Britney Spears’s best friend in Crossroads a year prior to this and would later go on to portray Tiffany in Orange is the New Black) who’s the owner of a humble little flower shop that she runs with her friend Gwen (Kandyse McClure) and she spends her evenings with her boyfriend Ryan (Preston Cook) who looks like the drummer in a Papa Roach cover band, but seems to be a decent guy otherwise.  Someone who DOESN’T seem to be a decent guy however is her next customer; some dude in a blue shirt with George on his nametag and MURDER in his eyes!  Creepy George then begins to relay a timeless story of love at true sight between a man and a woman at a laundromat where the saintly princess bequeathed a cup of detergent to the lowly white knight, and it was then that George knew that she was THE ONE!  The one he will love, and the one he has to protect… from himself.  He begs Tina to stop him from killing here which I don’t know about you but seems like a particularly BRIGHT red flag, and so Tina runs to the phone to call the cops… but when she looks up, George has disappeared!

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“No, no!  Not me!  I’m just here to do the spooky intro.”

Naturally the police don’t believe that The Invisible Man is out there trying to ruin women’s lives (despite that being the ONLY thing Invisible Men ever do) and even when they find the guy working at a local pet store he denies everything and has an alibi all lined up for them.  We can probably see where this is going, but just in case they want to throw a swerve at us; calling all bets for Evil Twin, Force Ghost, or Massive Conspiracy!  Tina seems to be leaning towards the latter as she doesn’t believe he was ACTUALLY at the store all day (and frankly the way police handle these situations may not be a conspiracy but it is a crying shame) but she’ll need more than her word to convince the jaded detective to take her seriously.  Camera phones cannot gain widespread popularity soon enough; especially since Creepy George keeps showing up!  Once again at the flower shop to try and convince her to leave her boyfriend, and again after Trent the Negotiator heads to the pet show to kick his creepy but until it’s as blue as his lousy shirt.  Sadly the tough guy shtick ends up backfiring as the police now have video evidence of George being somewhere else (getting the crap kicked out of him) which is only making it harder for someone to actually listen to her.  Even Trent is starting to flake on this whole situation as his night in jail is all the proof he needs that George wasn’t where Tina said he was!  Tina’s gonna have to take things into her own hands if she wants to get answers, but being a stalker is clearly not in her wheelhouse (certainly not as much as it’s in George’s) as she tries to look incognito by dressing as the lost member of The New Radicals.

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“Come around, we’ll kick your ass in George!”     “I’m calling the police.”

When that fails to work and George starts to gaslight her some more, she starts to consider that she’s genuinely losing her mind and that she may need professional help.  This turns out to be a red herring however as it becomes clear that she’s not just seeing things and that her life is truly in danger.  She gets one final visit from George who says he’s sorry that she failed to stop him from killing her and that it’s too late now to stop the inevitable.  All of a sudden Tina hears a knock at the door, and on the other side is… GEORGE!  TWILIGHT SHOCK!!  So is it evil Twins?  A FORCE GHOST!?  Well it’s both, kinda, and not in a way that’s particularly interesting or even thought-provoking.  The George who’s been invading her personal space yet is never seen by anyone else was George’s conscious; so disturbed by George’s plan to murder the object of his affection that it just HAD to escape from George’s psyche and warn Tina directly.  Well to be frank, the guy did a LOUSY job of it as he never explained any of this to Tina beforehand, and even if he’s STILL a part of the sinister individual wanting to carve her up into little pieces, you’d think that he’d cut back on the creep factor when trying to give her a warning.  Then again, despite ()’s delivery being kind of underwhelming, the writing on George’s character has been rather spot on for someone obsessed with an unrequited love for another, so I guess it’s one of those things that looks good on paper but ended up falling flat in execution; especially the HILLARIOUS scene of the two Georges “merging” back together again before going after Tina.

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“TWO… BECOMING… ONE!!”     “OH GOD IT BURNS!!”     “Oh quit being a wussy!”

Ultimately, the whole premise of the episode means nothing because the conscious failed to protect Tina from George’s wrath but Tina still manages to successfully defend herself and take George down, so frankly it could have saved the effort.  I GUESS the episode tries to argue that the warning itself helped in some way even if it didn’t really change her actions throughout the episode (she even says a cheesy “your conscious gave you away” one liner as George is being carted out of the apartment), but with how flimsy the premise itself was it didn’t need to come off as any less threadbare with the way it ultimately wraps up.  Maybe Forest Whitaker can shed a bit of light on this!

“Sometimes it’s just a voice that whispers in our ear; an impulse for decency residing in even the darkest of souls.  And that voice can sometimes make the difference between life and death.  Just ask Tina Bishop.”

Yeah, I’m sure she feels SUPER relieved after having someone’s “conscious” terrify her followed by stabbing a dude so he doesn’t kill her first.  I don’t know, I think there’s a lot of potential for a story like this about someone who can’t bear to face his own darkest self (The Telltale Heart is a great example), but what lets it down is the acting and the need for there to be an obvious twist.  George’s GOOD self can hardly be called that given the creepy performance he gives which feels like a mistake since it’s almost indistinguishable from the REAL George and therefore being split away from him carries little significance.  MAYBE you can draw some sort of conclusion that people this evil have an innately compromised good side as well, but the way it comes across here is less of a warning and more like a cryptic taunt; like a note left by a killer or one of those puppet shows that Jigsaw liked to put on.  Still, at least it’s better than You!  YEAH, I WENT THERE!  WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, NETFLIX!?

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