Monday, April 13, 2020

The Twilight Zone (2019) -- Season 1 Episode 9 (The Blue Scorpion)


Life rarely has any easy answers.  Most of us have to take what life deals us and do the best we can.  Take Jeff Storck.  He’s recently separated from his wife, Anne, and living with his father.  Jeff comes home one night to discover his father dead of an apparent suicide.  Add to this the fact that his wife suddenly wants a divorce.  He has his father’s estate, a divorce lawyer, financial troubles and a mysterious gun to deal with.  Life’s not easy.

Part of the gun’s mystery is that Jeff’s father was an avowed hippie.  He dodged the draft.  Why own a gun.  The big mystery is a blue scorpion on the gun’s handle.  Oh, and there’s a clip in the father’s safe that has one bullet.  That bullet has Jeff’s name on it.

Even stranger is that Jeff runs into a lot of other Jeffs.  Someone has a dog named Jeff.  Someone else is wearing a sports jersey with the name Jeff on it.  Anne’s new boyfriend is named Jeff.  The guy that Jeff calls about the gun?  His name is Bob Jeff.  I think her divorce lawyer was also jammed Jeff.  It reminds me of a YouTube clip I saw once called Jeffpardy!.

Jeff initially wants to get rid of the gun, but he starts to warm up to it.  He becomes a little drunk on the potential power.  One night, he’s visited by Eulogio Cienfuegos, the person who originally had the gun.  Eulogio promises that the gun can take care of all of Jeff’s problems.  The only condition is that the gun be kept in a well-lit area; it doesn’t react well to the dark.

While sitting outside his wife’s house, contemplating harm to the other Jeff, Jeff Prime is attacked.  The gun goes off and kills the attacker, who turns out to be a criminal breaking into nearby houses.  Jeff is called a hero.  Anne even makes some concessions in the divorce proceedings.  To top it all off, Jeff get’s a promotion.

In the end, Jeff tosses the gun into a lake.  I’m not sure why he doesn’t sell it.  For that matter, why not rent a boat to make sure it’s in the deepest part of the lake?  (I know this is The Twilight Zone, but still…)  Lo and behold, two children find it and the cycle continues.

Part of the appeal of this episode is that it pretty much nails the subtlety.  It doesn’t label gun owners as crazy.  It also doesn’t criticize people who don’t own guns.  It makes a case that there are several ways to use a gun.

Granted, all of them have a real danger to them.  However, some outcomes can be more tragic than others.  The gun did kill someone, but Jeff could also have thrown his life away by killing out of jealousy.  There is an element of responsibility.  A bullet doesn’t magically solve everything.  At least, not in the real world.  When two children find the gun at the end of the episode, there’s an implication that maybe guns can be more dangerous in certain hands.


No comments :