In the second episode of the night from CBS All Access, it’s Adam Scott’s turn to join The Twilight Zone.
Only THIS time, it’s “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet!!!!” Get it?!?!
The episode stars Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott, who was originally played by none other than William Shatner, as the uptight journalist Justin Sanderson.
Sanderson, it’s alluded to at the very beginning of this journey into The Twilight Zone, has some kind of history of mental illness. He’s talking on the phone with his wife in an airport and it’s briefly mentioned that he has some form of PTSD and that he’s recently seen a therapist.
That therapist apparently told him to always remember that “the past is the past,” which is a repeated theme throughout this entire episode.
Also before boarding the plane, Justin bumps into a man named Joe Beaumont (Chris Diamantopoulos). Joe, who’s later revealed to be a former airplane pilot himself, instantly recognizes Chris from his work as a journalist and asks him to sign a copy of a magazine that’s simply titled “The End of Civility?”
If you’re looking closely during that scene you’ll also spot a couple of other familiar faces on the magazine rack — one being Samir, from the previous Twilight Zone episode entitled “The Comedian,” and another being Jacob Tremblay, who’s said to be playing some kind of political in an upcoming episode.
As Justin boards the flight, he can’t help but notice an odd coincidence that he’s taking flight 1015, which is departing at 10:15 on October 15.
Weird, he thinks, but thinks nothing of it as he works his way into his seat.
They’re just about to take off when Justin finds an old MP3 hidden in front of the seat. He picks it up, takes out his AirPods, turns it on and discovers there’s only one thing downloaded onto this MP3 — a podcast entitled “The Tragic Mystery of Flight 1015.”
After finding another pair of headphones that will connect to the deceive and disturbing his neighbor in the process, Justin starts listening to the podcast and is horrified to hear what it has to say.
Basically, the podcast says that Justin’s flight — like, the very flight is on right now, meaning this podcast is somehow from the future — will disappear at exactly 11:30 p.m. that evening. As soon as the captain says the words “Goodnight New York,” everyone onboard will mysteriously vanish and never be heard from again.
It’s got to be a joke, right? That’s what Justin thinks at first, but as he continues listening, he can’t help but notice the podcast is right about a scary amount of things.
For example, the narrator is able to predict the exact moment that a bird flies into an engine that Justin observes from his window. It’s also able to tell Justin who’s flying the plane, what they’ll say during their on-flight announcement and how a variety of people onboard will react.
Suddenly, this doesn’t seem like a joke anymore.
The mystery begins as the podcast begins listing some of the passengers who might have been involved with the disappearance. One is a pair of men watching a cricket game on a phone, who Justin confronts and is then asked to return to his seat. Another is a group of Russians who are about to testify against a mob boss who Justin also tries to confront before being asked to return to his seat once again, this time more with more force from the flight attendants.
As Justin returns to his podcast, he’s terrified to hear that he, too, is one of the suspects named. There’s even actual footage of him confronting the Russians, which was taken by some other passengers on their phone, put right there in the podcast.
That’s where Joe once again comes into play. He’s on the plane too, for no other reason than he’s a former pilot (with an emphasis on the former, as he’s apparently made “one too many mistakes”) and he likes to fly.
He is, however, the one person who believes Justin’s story. Even after the pilot has to talk to Justin to calm him down from his hysterics and an air marshal has to place him under arrest, Joe thinks that there’s something to what Justin is saying and wants to help.
Time is running out, too, as the flight is now only moments away from 11:15 p.m.
So, Justin comes up with an idea. Joe can break into the cockpit (the code, of course, is 1015), knock the pilots unconscious, gas the rest of the plane so everyone onboard goes to sleep and doesn’t panic and lands the plane himself. Shouldn’t be any problem since Joe was once a pilot and this means they’ll all be safe, right?
That’s exactly what Joe does, too. Everything goes according to plan perfectly and Joe takes control of the plane. It’s right when Joe starts speaking to Justin over the intercom and thanks him for this opportunity that Justin realizes what he’s done. He didn’t prevent the plane from crashing, he caused it by putting the controls into the hands of this madman.
“Goodnight, New York,” Joe says over the intercom as he, too, drifts off to sleep.
Justin wakes up to find himself on an island, surrounded by wreckage but, remarkably, uninjured. He finds yet another MP3 device and discovers a sequel to the original episode.
That sequel, which was presumably made a while after the original, states that the passengers from flight 1015 have now all been found — all but one, that is. Justin Sanderson is still missing and none of the witnesses have any idea what happened to them.
We then zoom back to reveal an angry mob of the passengers standing around him in circles, ready to take vengeance on the man who caused them to crash land.
Jordan Peele then takes us out by explaining Sanderson may have had good intentions, but failed to take a step back and investigate his own behavior for once.
That’s The Twilight Zone for you, am I right?
What did you think of this episode of The Twilight Zone? Did it do the “Nightmare at…” title justice? Let us know in the comments below and then tune in to CBS All Access tonight to catch the new episode of The Twilight Zone.