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Old 07-18-2014, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Twilight Zone

Over the past few years I have become an emphatic fan of the original Twilight Zone series. I won't go into gushing about how amazing the show is or why I think so, instead I would like to just post occassional reviews of episodes that affected me strongly.

----


THE TWILIGHT ZONE
ON THURSDAY WE LEAVE FOR HOME
On Thursday We Leave for Home - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Episode 118
Original Air Date: May 2, 1963
Screenplay: Rod Serling



-------

The episode begins, as many TZ episodes do, on another planet. The small population on the planet appears to be banded together in a small community, with identifcal khaki outfits, sunhats, and all. This is the first clue.

It soon becomes clear that they are a group of human colonists, who have been stranded on the desert planet V9-Gamma for 30 years.. Captain Benteen, the group's leader, has a strict-grandfather like grip on the small band of survivors, who frequently complain about the harsh desert environment and living conditions, always immediately quelled by Benteen's charismatic and powerful ability of speech.

Eventually in the episode, a young man and Benteen get into an argument over his power over the group, only to be interrupted by a harsh and deadly meteorite shower, a regular occurrence on this planet. As the group takes shelter in a cave, Benteen's softer side comes out as he starts to tell stories of Earth to a young child (who has never seen it) to calm him (and the rest of the group) down during the meteorite shower.

At one point, a woman starts getting terrified that the ship from Earth, which they have been expecting for the past 30 years, is not actually coming, and the group begins to become panicked as well. You really have to empathize with what it would be like to be stranded on a desert planet with only about 50 other human beings for 30 years, with no communication with Earth and only having one strong leader, Captain Benteen, to look to for guidance. Most of the people on the planet have never even seen Earth, the original settlers having died over the past 30 years.

To calm them down, Benteen begins to shout the mantra: "THE SHIP IS COMING!!! REPEAT AFTER ME: THE...SHIP...IS....COMING...."

At this point the psychologically disintegrating group goes from borderline panic to frenzied and joyful chanting "THE...SHIP...IS...COMING...THE...SHIP...IS...COMI NG...THE...SHIP...IS...COMING...!!!!"


I'm sure I do not have to spell out the parallels here. Clue #2.


In the midst of their chanting, a new noise appears...ROCKET BLASTS. Could it be? Could it
be true, after all this time?


The group rushes outside, Benteen at the lead, to watch a ship descend. A man emerges, "too-handsome-and-friendly-to-be-a-space-captain" Colonel Sloane, cheerful and almost suspiciously friendly to these poor souls trapped for 3 decades in a strange environment. The attitude of America in the 60's really shows through here, with people simply being happy to play football, and have a homecooked meal. The crew is overjoyed and looks to Colonel Sloan as children look to Santa Claus.

Predictably, Benteen becomes jealous and a rivalry between him and Sloan develops -- almost entirely on Benteen's side. He begins to see his control loosen over the group as Sloan begins to catch-on to the cult-like environment of the group.


After a few passionate dialogues and appeals to the group itself (demanded by Sloan, clearly a champion of democracy and freedom) vs. the confused and scared Benteen, who fears that he is losing everything he has ever loved.

The thing about it is that, despite how Benteen is portrayed in the episode, he has very valuable points that he discusses with Sloan: this cult-like environment is literally the only way that Benteen could have kept all these people alive and orderly over the decades --- without his authoritarian control, these people very well may not have survived. Benteen looks at these people as a master-patriarch would look on his extended family: as his progeny, an extension of himself.

However, his over-identification with this role, however unavoidable it was, is ultimately the cause of his own demise. Over the course of the next few days as the ship prepares to leave, Benteen continues to alienate himself by overt displays of trying to sabotage the return-home mission, including a desperate attempt to destroy the spaceship with a 2x4, lol.


The episode ends with Benteen choosing to stay on the planet, despite the desperate pleas of Sloane and members of his former "cult". Stubborn, he stays and waits for them to take off.

As he walks out of the cave to watch the ship take off, the full realization of what he has done hits him. The episode ends with him broken and alone on the hot desert sand, weeping over his memories of Earth.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna

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Old 07-19-2014, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default

I didn't read any of that blonde but I agree that the twilight zone is bad ass shit.

Even the remake with that Forest nigga is dope.

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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THE TWILIGHT ZONE
THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF HORACE FORD
The Incredible World of Horace Ford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Episode 117
Original Air Date: April 18, 1963
Screenplay: Reginald Rose



-------

"The Incredible World of Horace Ford" revolves around a successful toy designer approaching 40 who is utterly unable to live in the present moment. Happily plagued by memories of his childhood (which he remembers as the best part of his life), he continually annoys his wife, family, and friends by an ADHD-like compulsion to recount stories of his youth.

Frustrated by his family and friends' lack of appreciation for his stories, he visits his childhood street for a little bout of nostalgia...where he hallucinates (or does he?) seeing his childhood friends, as well as himself as a child. Frightened, he runs home, but the experience (and his inability to tell anyone what he saw) seem to make his psychosis worse. He continues to return to the street and see the same visions.

Eventually, having lost his job over his mental and emotional state, he returns to his childhood street a final time to confront his hallucinations. After following the "memory" to it's completion, he comes to remember that his childhood was actually awful -- a time of isolation, rejection, and cruelty. His inability to psychologically come to grips with this fact during his life generated a slew of "only-happy memories" (lies) that he buried himself in until he no longer had a choice.

After a violent confrontation with his own Past, the episode ends with Horace accepting his life as it is, and presumably begins to live as a 38-year old man, rather than a 10-year old boy.

It is worth noting that, in the story, his wife goes above and beyond her duty stand by her husband despite his obvious mental breakdown.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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