Well. Between this episode and the last one, Twilight Zone has certainly gone a bit off the rails, hasn’t it?
The newest Twilight Zone episode, which is called “Point of Origin,” attempt to take another big swing at a socially relevant topic. That’s great and all, but the problem we’re quickly realizing that Twilight Zone has is they’re all allegory and no story. You’ll get the point of what they’re trying to say within the first two minutes, sure, but they really don’t deliver it in a particularly clever or nuanced way.
Directed by Mathias Hendrl, “Point of Origin” follows a suburban couple — Eve (Ginnifer Goodwin) and William Martin (Toby Levins) — and they’re two daughters as they take a trip into the twilight zone.
They were just you’re normal, upper-class family until the immigration officers showed up in their ice cream truck — because, you know, ICE.
First, they came for the Martins' housekeeper, Anna (Zabryna Guevara) — which Eve was somewhat okay with, in a racist kind of way, even though it meant she now had to do all the daily chores and whatnot. Soon after, however, they came for the whole family.
After being sent to a detainment center run by a mysterious and dark figured known as Allendale (True Detective’s James Frain), Eve figures this all must be some kind of giant misunderstanding. Surely her family *doesn’t* belong here, right?
Yet, while William and the two daughters are indeed allowed to leave, Allendale assures Eve that she does, in fact, belong here — even though he doesn’t provide any reasoning as to why.
Placed in a prison-like compound, Eve eventually does run into Anna. Anna is, of course, with her former employee’s insistence that she doesn’t belong, but agrees to help her out.
She takes her to some secret door (how, exactly, she found this door, we really don’t know) that leads to another prisoner who’s randomly just hiding in some backroom — a woman named Aida (Planet of the Ape’s Karin Konoval).
As most of us have figured out by this point, Aida tells Eve that she isn’t who she thinks she is. Rather, they are aliens from another universe who moved here long ago — when Eve was just a little girl, hence the reason who has no memory. While they mean no harm, the humans have just found out about their presence and, given they don’t take too kindly to immigrants, want them completely removed.
Again, a good message, but you’ve got a long ways to go on the actual storytelling aspect, Twilight Zone. There’s no reason this episode should feel as boring and lackluster as it does.
Eve doesn’t believe it at first but, after being brought in for some kind of interrogation with Allendale, realizes it’s true.
And then, during the last 15 minutes or so, they decide to work in a prison-break scenario into this episode too because, hey, what not (don’t kid yourself Twilight Zone, you aren’t Escape Plan 2: Hades or Paddington 2, for that matter).
After telling one of the guards that she and her husband are actually rich, she’s able to bribe one of the guards to break both her and Anna out. They run through that secret door that led to Aida (never mind what happened to her, because it doesn’t come up again), get outside and make it to the main road where someone is waiting to pick them up.
They both make it this far when Anna decides to peace out. She doesn’t trust anyone, she tells Eve, before walking off into the night.
Eve gets in anyway and arrives back at home the next morning, hoping to quickly grab her wife and kids, throw them in the car and get out of dodge before Allendale comes looking for her.
William doesn’t feel the same way. Somewhere between now and the last time that the couple saw each other, he was informed of Eve’s true identity and doesn’t take so kindly towards it. He shoos his daughters away right as Allendale arrives to take Eve back to prison, as we graciously cut to black.
I don’t know, with the exception of “Replay,” Twilight Zone started off pretty strong, I think, but they’ve been air-balling a lot of them lately (the little teaser for the next episode doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, either). “Point of Origin” is yet another that just falls completely flat when it comes to actual filmmaking.
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