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-.