The most recent iteration of The Twilight Zone – its fourth – debuted last year on CBS All Access to mixed reviews and not very much interest among people I read and follow. Jordan Peele is the narrator and public face of the series, the host of the proceedings, and one of the creative forces behind it. I couldn’t get a line on whether any one episode was a standout – whichever one somebody says was the best has twice as many reviews calling it awful – so I asked at the Roobarb’s Forum and just went with the first one somebody gave me: “The Blue Scorpion.”
My opinion on what makes a great Twilight Zone may be worthless, but I figure a good one should have a satisfactory ending, make the audience think a little, and, if possible, creep kids out. With that in mind, Glen Morgan’s episode was a triumph. The episode’s about a gun that’s spent the last seventy years making its way into the hands of its next owner. You don’t buy this gun; it chooses you. And it’s afraid of the dark.
So yes, this did creep our son out, especially when something puts on the light in the back of the house where Chris O’Dowd’s mild-mannered professor character is staying, and somebody arrives to give him a few words of advice for his next steps. There’s a bullet with his name literally on it, but unfortunately he meets about a half-dozen people, and a dog, with the same name over the course of the next week. Who does this gun want him to kill?
Honestly, I thought it was a little forgettable and predictable. Nicely photographed, but with no standout performances, and it ended with not so much an opportunity as a demand that we talk with our son about gun safety, and what he should do if he and a friend ever find a gun somewhere. There are at least three characters in this episode who should have heard that talk. Maybe we didn’t pick the right one. Maybe there’ll be a standout in the second season everybody will agree is the best.