Tuesday, April 07, 2020

The Twilight Zone (2019) -- Season 1 Episode 3 (Replay)

The one thing motivating Nina Harrison more than anything else is her son, Dorian.  When Dorian is set to go to college, she drives him up a week early.  She even brings along an old camcorder to document the experience, despite having a modern cell phone.

By accident, she comes to realize that the camcorder can rewind reality.  It has to be at a point where the camcorder recorded, but it’s able to undo things like a ketchup stain on Dorian’s shirt.

This comes in handy when they get pulled over by Officer Lasky.  Dorian was playing around with the camcorder while driving.  Lasky is willing to overlook the fact that Dorian was speeding, but the distracted driving will earn a citation.  This leads to a confrontation during which Lasky draws his taser.  Nervous Nina rewinds a few minutes.  They take a different path, but Lasky keeps finding them.

Whatever Nina does, it’s the wrong thing.  She even buys Lasky a piece of pie.  In return, he asks how she can afford such a nice car.  Lasky shoots Dorian, which Nina is able to undo.  She realizes that her one option is to visit her brother.  She left her family as soon as it was possible for her to do so.

This isn’t something she was looking forward to, but Neil welcomes them both.  He’s able to get them to the college, but Lasky catches up with them just as Dorian is about to cross onto college property.  It’s not until Nina confronts Lasky that he finally backs down.

I’m not going to say this was a heavy-handed episode, but it did feel a little more obvious than I was expecting.  Lasky is just this side of racist and it shows.  When he hears that Dorian is going to college, he calls it the black one, referring to the fact that it’s predominantly African-American.

Nina and Dorian also represent two different attitudes.  Nina tends to be more cautious whereas Dorian is more aggressive.  It would appear that neither approach is enough to keep Lasky away.  It’s not until lots of people stand up to him that anything happens.

Even then, it’s not over.  The story jumps ten years into the future.  Dorian has a child of his own.  The camcorder finally breaks, but Dorian is harassed once again in front of his own home.  The episode comes across as more obvious than subtle.


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