The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 31 – The Encounter

Mr. Fenton is a WW II veteran of the Pacific Theater who is in his attic throwing away junk.  Taro (Arthur) Takamori is a young Japanese American who stopped by to ask if he could add Fenton’s yard to his lawn mowing route.  Fenton asks him to come up to the attic to help him clean up the junk and to share a beer.

During the conversation we discover that Fenton has a lot of hostility toward the Japanese from his time in the war.  He shows Arthur the samurai sword he took from a Japanese officer whom he says was trying to kill him with it.  Fenton claims he’s tried repeatedly to get rid of the sword by giving it away, selling it and throwing it in the trash but each time it’s been returned.

When Fenton leaves the attic to get a beer Arthur picks up the sword and says, “I’m going to kill him.”  Then he immediately asks himself “Why?”

Fenton continues to interlace insults with his conversation with Arthur and Arthur is clearly becoming angry.  Fenton becomes more and more agitated and begins describing just how dangerous a trained soldier like himself is.  At this point Arthur grabs the sword and seems to be preparing to attack Fenton with it.  Fenton arms himself with a small knife and attempts to disarm Arthur but Arthur ends up with the sword against Fenton’s throat.  Fenton placates Arthur by saying he was just describing his war training not threatening Arthur.  Arthur puts the sword down and they begin fencing with words again.  When Fenton says that he killed the officer in self defense Arthur calls him a liar and says the officer had put the sword down when Fenton killed him.  Fenton admits it but says that on Okinawa the standing order was take no prisoners.

Next we learn a little about why Arthur is so angry.  His father was construction contractor for the US Navy in Pearl Harbor and had built a dock for the Navy.  Initially Arthur tells Fenton that his father was a war hero who had warned the sailors about the approaching planes but later he breaks down and admits that his father had betrayed the Americans and had guided the planes to their targets.  He was a traitor and Arthur was consumed by the blood guilt.

When Arthur tries to leave the attic, he finds that the door is inexplicably stuck.  They continue to talk and we learn that Fenton has lost his job and his wife over his drinking and the anger that he harbored over the war.  Once again Fenton and Arthur become involved in a fight with Arthur wielding the sword.  After a prolonged struggle Fenton manages to pry the sword out of Arthur’s hands and tosses it aside.  But the sword was caught between some of the furniture in the attic with the blade protruding up.  And when Fenton attempts to get up off the floor where he had been wrestling with Arthur, the young man grabs Fenton’s feet out from under him and Fenton impales himself on the blade and dies.  Arthur grabs the sword with an anguished look on his face, yells banzai! And hurls himself through the attic window to his death below.  Finally, the door to the outside opens on its own.

Rod Serling returns to one of his fascinations.  Serling served in the Pacific and it scarred his mind.  Fenton to some extent symbolizes the barbarity of the war but typically for Serling, he faults the American soldier and makes the Japanese officer the noble victim.  To be somewhat even handed he gives Arthur a guilt complex over his father’s treason.  But it’s pretty clear where our sympathies are supposed to lie.  I would give this episode a B but George Takei plays Arthur.  George and I do not share political sympathies.  I think he’s a jerk.  So, I’m giving it a B- because I’m as vindictive as they come.


A Busy Week for Right Wing Political Observers

Well, the week has been action packed.  The Climate Nuts are panicking the children and the feeble minded with their Children’s Crusade.  The President humorously mocked the sixteen-year-old climate activist who has been screeching at her supporters all week.  Very funny indeed.

Now Nancy Pelosi and President Trump are sparring over the Ukraine and its investigation of Biden and his son.  Pelosi has begun a formal Impeachment proceeding and all the usual suspects are screaming that treason has been committed and heads will roll.  Of course, the fact that it was Biden and his son that were shaking down the Ukrainians under Obama’s regime is ignored.

And just in case that isn’t enough the British Supreme Court has declared the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament illegal.

Interestingly enough Rasmussen shows the President’s approval rating at its highest point in two years (52%).

Well, what does all this mean?  Just that President Trump and his enemies are locked in the death struggle that they’ve had going on for the last four years.  But the difference is he’s eliminated some of the really weak links in his team.  If Jeff Sessions were still Attorney General by now, he would have recused himself in favor of Rod Rosenstein and a new special prosecutor would be drip-dripping stories to the New York Times and Rachel Maddow would be starting her death watch for the Trump Administration again.

But not this time.  Instead, the FBI is investigating the Biden Ukraine scandal and even I am starting to have doubts about Creepy Uncle Joe making it to the convention.  Lately Fauxcahantas has overtaken Bernie in the polls and has even passed Biden in the Iowa poll.  The youth contingent of the progressives is happy to see that an old white guy won’t be the candidate but the party leaders are worried that the Fake Indian won’t get the enthusiastic support of the black community.  In particular, black women haven’t really embraced Warren.  This kind of uncertainty is very good for our side.  It won’t give the Dems as much time to memory hole the dirt on whichever candidate gets through.  And it will make it harder to recruit the Veep for the ticket.  After all Creepy Joe is a strange weirdo but compared to the likes of Warren or Harris, he’s almost Santa Claus.

Many right wing pundits fear Fauxcahantas as the more formidable opponent in 2020.  I will admit that she hasn’t forgotten what state she’s in or mixed up which decade things happened like Plugs Biden has, but she’s a deeply unlikeable woman whose only natural constituency is middle aged professional white women.  Men find her voice comparable to fingernails screeching over a chalk board.  In other words, sort of like Hillary Clinton.

Also, she has publicly stated that she supports Medicaid for all, free healthcare for illegal aliens and the ludicrously expensive and hopelessly ineffective Green New Deal.  I think even Jeb Bush could manage to attack her over those awful policies.  But it won’t be Jeb at the debates it will be the Man Who Buried Hillary.  The only real question is whether he calls her Liarwatha during his opening statement or during the first round of questions.

So far this has been a very interesting week.  Many people feel that President Trump intentionally initiated this Ukraine dust-up to force Pelosi to begin impeachment.  At this point, that seems possible.  The consensus is that Pelosi wanted to save an impeachment drama for closer to the election to hurt the President’s election chances.  But letting the Ukraine investigate Biden’s son would throw a cloud over the current leading candidate’s campaign and breed fear, uncertainty and depression for the Dems.  It’s sort of a lose/lose situation for the Dems.  There is the chance that forcing the country to go through an impeachment process this close to the election and for no good reason could throw the House of Representatives to the Republicans next year and strengthen President Trump’s hand immeasurably.

And finally getting back to the Brexit situation it remains to be seen if Boris Johnson will be willing to allow a Hard Brexit to occur by refusing to request an extension from the EU.  If that occurs, he could possibly be charged with a crime.  This really is an amazing situation.  It will take guts to do it but if he does it might make him the most popular Prime Minister since Winston Churchill.

Stay tuned.  Things seem to be heating up.


The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 30 – Stopover in a Quiet Town

Bob and Millie Frazier are Manhattanites that went to a party in the northern suburbs and have awakened the next morning in a suburban house in their party clothes from the night before with hangovers and no recollection of why they aren’t back home.

They squabble about whose fault it is that they’re there.  Bob was drunk so Millie drove them home.  But the last thing she remembers from the drive is a shadow enveloping the car and then nothing.  They walk around the house and find no one there.  When they try to use the telephone, they find out it’s not wired in but just hooked onto the wall.  Likewise, the cabinets in the kitchen are fake with the drawers just panels glued onto a blank wooden side.  And the refrigerator is empty except for some prop loaves of bread and empty food boxes.  The only sign of life is the sound in the background of a little girl giggling.

The go outside and find no people and only a stuffed squirrel propped on a tree branch.  The go to the church and it’s empty.  Bob rings the church bell for an extended time but nobody responds.  They walk down the street and every once in a while, they hear the childish laughter coming from nowhere.  They discover that the trees are fake and the grass is papier-mâché.  Finally, they think they’ve found a man sitting in a car but it’s just a dummy.  Then they find out that the car has no engine.

They start to crack up and Millie imagines that they crashed last night and they are in hell.  But then Bob here’s the whistle of a commuter train and they run to find it.  They rush on board just as it leaves Centerville (the name of the town).  The train pulls out of the station and they laugh with relief.  But the next stop is back where they started from in Centerville.

Now angry and determined, Bob tells Millie that they’re going to leave on foot down the main road.  But after a short time, they hear the laughter again and looking up they see a giant eight-year-old girl.  They run but she catches them and scoops them up in her hand.  Her mother shows up and tells her to play nicely with her pets because her father just brought them all the way from Earth.  But it’s lunch time so she deposits Bob and Millie back in Centerville until she finishes eating.

Alright, altogether!  What are my two primary rules for the Twilight Zone?

  • No mannequins, puppets or robots that think they are people.
  • No episodes where someone wakes up someplace alone and starts running around screaming for help.

Obviously, this falls under rule number two.  But you know what?  Seeing Bob and Millie in the palm of the giant little girl’s hand is just ridiculous enough to earn this the comedy exception clause.  Let’s go with a B-.

Climate Catastrophe and Firefly

Today I watched that clip of teenage Swedish drama queen Greta Thunberg harnessing some kind of climate panic attack to call us out on the evil we’re doing to the planet.  Now considering that she rode a jet to get to the UN climate conference it’s a little thick having to listen to her harangue us because we heat our houses and drive to work to be able to feed our children.  But she is a sixteen-year-old girl and they tend to be pretty crazy at that age.  Anyway, I’m watching the rant and it seems like I recognize her from somewhere.  And then it hits me, Greta Thunberg is actually River Tam from Firefly!  And now it all makes perfect sense.  If you were a fan of the show you know that River was the victim of clandestine brain surgery by the Alliance, in the quest to turn her into a four foot eleven, eighty-seven-pound, mind reading, super soldier.  Of course, she’s crazy.  That kind of diabolical amygdala scraping will leave the victim incapable of distinguishing climate hoax form reality.

At this point all the craziness started making sense.  In the Firefly universe Earth’s ecosystem collapsed.  River has been recaptured by the Alliance and reprogrammed to parrot the climate change speeches her tormentors have fed her poor battered mind.  The fiends!  No matter, I could detect that even while she spoke a vein throbbing over her eye was actually spelling out a message in Morse code.  It spelled out the message, “It’s not anthropogenic global warming, it’s really only solar output fluctuation.”  She misspelled anthropogenic and she also added, “Jayne’s a girl’s name.” But that was just reflex.  So brave, so brave.

So, there you have it.  Her handlers (or parents if you don’t mind the charade) trot her out to enflame the demented climate mob.  But how can she be rescued from this awful enslavement.  Can Simon Tam call on the Resistance (not that Resistance) to smuggle him into the Alliance prison and once again break her out?  Or can Mal, Zoe and Jayne use their skills as Space Pirates to swoop down and scoop her up in the cargo hold of Serenity?

But what then?  How can the diabolical brainwashing be cured?  She must be close to total insanity.  I mean she believes the world will end in ten years.  So sad, so sad.

But then a pop-up ad for hair restoration services opened up and I got distracted so I don’t have the answers I need to solve this conundrum.  I’ll have to re-watch my blue ray copies of Firefly and Serenity to try to figure out the best path forward.  I only pray we’re not too late to save her.

Of course, she was the most annoying character on the show and I agreed with Jayne that she should be handed back to the Alliance.  Hmmm.

Anyway, that film clip was hands down the dopiest emotional display of unalloyed teenage stupidity to come down the pike since that imbecilic kid David Hogg road his bicycle to the Parkland shooting.  She really deserves to be mocked for the ridiculous hyperbole she spouts.  At the very least her parents should be brought up on child abuse charges for allowing her to be used as a trained seal by the climate scammers.

Finally, Whedon is a tool for killing off Wash.  That was totally wrong.