Things get meta in the latest and last episode of this season’s Twilight Zone.
We start “Blurryman” like seemingly every other Twilight Zone episode — Long Shot’s Seth Rogen is playing a troubled writer who’s on the brink of some huge revelation while Westworld’s Betty Gabriel plays his girlfriend, with Jordan Peele stepping in to give some heavy-handed narration about the importance of art vs. entertainment like that.
It’s as soon as he finishes that narration, however, that we realize this is not a normal Twilight Zone episode at all, as the camera continues rolling as Jordan Peele casually walks offset and back into the sound stage.
No, this Twilight Zone episode is actually set in the supposed film studio where they’ve been filming this season of Twilight Zone, meaning we’re essentially breaking the fourth wall all episode long.
Jordan is upset with one of the writers, Sophie Gelson (Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz) for drafting some narration that’s a bit too on-the-nose (where were these complaints during “Point of Origin,” am I right?). Just take it easy, he tells Sophie. Don’t worry about pushing a message so hard and just let the episode’s sci-fi entertainment speak for itself.
Sophie heads back to her computer and tries again. Being crunched for time, she writes the new lines on cue cards and heads back on to set — only to find a startling revelation.
The cue cards have, somehow, been switched and no longer contain the lines she wrote. Instead, the new script itself is literally about Sophie and how she’s ignoring a blurry figure that’s lurking in the background of her own story.
Jordan flubs the lines and, thinking it’s some kind of prank put on by some of the extras for the blooper real, takes five.
Sophie isn’t laughing, though. Her conversation with Jordan really got in her head and has made her reconsider her entire relationship with Twilight Zone and entertainment in general, and this certainly doesn’t help.
Not only that, but after Sophie heading up to the editing bay, they find there’s a literal blurry figuring standing in the background of every single shot (the nameless director is furious, Sophie is told, when this episode is actually directed by Dark Phoenix’s Simon Kinberg).
Upon further review, this blurryman isn’t just in one shot. He’s in at least one shot of every single episode of Twilight Zone thus far, which causes some callbacks to previous episodes like “The Blue Scorpion” and “The Comedian” where we can see such a figure standing off to the side (I haven’t gone back to check the original episodes, but I’d wager he was there at that time, too).
Sophie freaks out. She begins running around the set, trying to convince someone that she’s being stalked, but to no avail. Everyone — even her best friend, who she calls on Skype — tells her that she’s probably just sleep deprived (Hollywood, am I right?).
There’s a couple of extended scenes (most of which go on for too long, honestly) where Sophie is running around and the Blurry man is chasing her, throwing objects and whatnot. There are some good horror sequences in there, for sure, but it does begin to drag on for a while.
Eventually, she decides to confront Blurry Man. That then takes Sophie back in time to when she was a little kid, watching the Rod Serling Twilight Zone while her parents argue in the background.
Thinking that she now understands the point — that Twilight Zone has always been important as both art and entertainment, or something like that — she returns to the modern day with the new lines already written. Jordan takes a look at them, approves and heads off to go finish the scene.
But we’re not done yet. Suddenly, Sophie finds herself in black-and-white, surrounded by some obscure objects (many of which will look familiar for the old school Twilight Zone fans out there) and standing in some kind of nuclear wasteland.
Blurryman approaches and reveals himself to be Rod Serling (hate to be that guy, but I figured out the twist pretty quickly on). “Come with me,” he tells Sophie. “There’s a lot to explain.” They then walk through a door and step directly into the Twilight Zone opening credits.
We close out with some voice-over narration from Sterling — which is actually done by Mark Silverman, as Serling passed away in 1975 — explaining how Sophie didn’t really learn to see until she viewed the Twilight Zone through childish eyes.
Honestly, the message at what this episode is trying to get at is pretty confusing, but the whole story within a story thing is kind of cool, I guess.
That’ll do it for this season of Twilight Zone. What do you think about it? Were you disappointed? Did it might your expectations? Let us know, in the comments below, and then check out our other Twilight Zone recaps by clicking here!