The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 35 – The Fear

Charlotte Scott is a New York City fashion designer hiding out in the back country recovering from a nervous breakdown.  State Trooper Robert Franklin shows up at the door of her out of the way but opulently appointed cabin to follow up on a report from some townspeople that Miss Scott had said she had seen strange lights in the sky.

While being questioned by the officer Charlotte displays all the phrases and behaviors expected from a city snob when denigrating the country folk, she despises.  Robert calls her out on this rudeness and is about to leave when suddenly a blinding light appears outside the cabin and forces him to leave her in the cabin while he investigates.  When he returns, she apologizes for her rudeness and claims she is masking insecurity associated with her fear of the unknown after seeing the mysterious lights earlier.  Robert accepts her apology and tells her he’s pretty scared himself.  He tells her he thinks that the lights are associated with a UFO.

They discuss how to determine what is going on when suddenly Robert’s car drives by with no one at the wheel.  It ends up on its side and Robert determines that the car radio is dead.  Now they retreat back into the cabin with the aim of holing up until morning when it will seem safe to leave.  Charlotte hears noise on the roof but when Robert goes outside and climbs up, he doesn’t see anything.  But he discovers that his patrol car is back in its original position but with a set of fingerprints visible on the surface showing that the car had been moved back into position by being lifted by a giant’s hand.  Robert tells Charlotte that there was nothing on the roof but if it had wanted to it could have crushed the house flat.  He approximates the giant as being about 500 feet tall.

They sleep the rest of the night but in the morning, they decide to walk back to town.  They come upon a foot print of gigantic proportions.  While talking about the danger they face Charlotte panics and bolts down the path.  When she reaches the clearing suddenly, she sees a one-eyed alien about 500 feet tall.  She screams and Robert comes running up.  He tells her to run away and he’ll attempt to stop the alien with his service revolver.  She refuses and says she’ll stay with him.  He fires several shots at the monster and suddenly the two humans are practically blown off their feet by a powerful wind.  Eventually we see that the monster was actually a balloon and the wind was caused by the bullets puncturing and deflating the balloon.

Charlotte is confused about how all this happened but Robert sees a small flying saucer on the ground nearby.  Inside they see and hear the tiny space men radioing their home base for permission to flee the Earth before they are attacked by the giant humans.  They report that their plan to frighten the humans with the phony giant alien and tricks with the car have failed because the humans are fearless.  The space ship flies away.  And Robert expresses sympathy for the aliens and hopes on the next world they land that they are the giants instead of Lilliputians.  Charlotte worries about what will happen if the next aliens she encounters are real giants.  Robert proudly tells her that he believes she’ll spit in their eyes.

This is a pretty silly episode but the characters are likable and the story moves right along.  I think what I like about the story is that it reflects the conventional but very appealing scenario of the maiden in distress and the knight in shining armor willing to fight the dragon to protect her.  And as opposed to the modern upended trope of the independent woman Charlotte is grateful to Robert for his valor and protection.  Based on all that, this is a solid B episode.  And Hazel Court who plays Charlotte is actually quite attractive, so, that’s got to be worth at least half a point.  B+.

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