The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 29 – Four O’Clock

Oliver Crangle lives alone in a cramped cluttered dark apartment and has a parrot that periodically squawks out the word nut. He is near-sighted almost to the point of blindness from obsessively documenting all his enemies and spends his day “investigating” people that he reads about in the paper or sees on television or meets in the street.  He categorizes everyone and any that he deems evil, he harasses and attacks.  If he thinks that the clerk in the post office is a communist then he’ll call up his boss and report him.  If he reads about an accident victim that died in a hospital, he’ll find out who the attending physician was and report him to the hospital as negligent.

The wife of the doctor who he has attempted to vilify comes to Crangle’s apartment to find out why he is doing it.  When Crangle asks whether the hospital is ready to discharge her husband she tells him that the hospital doesn’t believe the charge.  But she says her husband is a sensitive man and the abuse is wounding him.  But Crangle has no sympathy.

Later an FBI agent shows up and interviews Crangle about a complaint he has sent to the bureau about communist infiltration.  While talking to the agent Crangle reveals his new plan.  Crangle says that by using only his will he will turn all the evil people in the world into two-foot-tall midgets at exactly four o’clock pm.  The agent tells Crangle to seek psychiatric help.  Crangle reviles the agent and tells him that he too will be one of the midgets.

At four o’clock Crangle is reduced to two feet in height.

The previous episode, The Little People, and this present one are about height.  But I guess that’s a metaphor for moral stature.  This is a character study about a 1960s version of a social justice warrior.  I wonder what Rod would think of how his side in the culture war has mutated into the thing he hated.  Interesting inversion.  The episode is a little thin for my tastes.  Your mileage may vary.   C.

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2 years ago

“I wonder what Rod would think of how his side in the culture war has mutated into the thing he hated.”

Every cause proposed by the dems/progressives has long since morphed into something that would not be recognizable to the original proponents.