Twilight Zone Season 2 Summary: Meeting in the middle
At Jordan Peele's The Twilight Zone premiere, lonely Phil (Jimmi Simpson) finds a significant human connection when he discovers a telepathic bond with a stranger named Annie (Gillian Jacobs). Their connection quickly unleashes a romance, but not everything is what it seems in this seemingly idyllic fantasy.
During an unsuccessful meeting, including Phil pointing out that the hair from their meeting was curly and not straight like her profile picture, Phil suddenly hears Annie's voice in her head which is panicked at being able to communicate through thought. Phil excuses himself to go to the bathroom while he and Annie discuss who to blame for the messy situation. They then yell at each other to stop talking – or thinking – to each other.
Jordan Peele officially presents the episode as a presenter, saying: “A voice in your head can mean a few different things. A conscience, divine inspiration … or madness. But what if, instead, it was a case of crossed wires, made using enigmatic and entangled switchboards, from the Twilight Zone? "
A different kind of romance
Phil talks to his therapist, who wants to discuss the possibility that the voice belongs to Phil and not someone else, which may be a coping mechanism that he subconsciously used to help him get out of the uncomfortable date. When the doctor brings up a dissociative identity disorder, Annie suddenly appears in Phil's head, saying that she is bored. The two finally agree that their therapists are lousy and think they're crazy, and Phil decides (with Annie's help) that he doesn't have to stay and listen to what the therapist is saying to him. With that, Phil leaves his session.
Phil goes to a cafe, asking Annie over the telepathic link if she can see what he is seeing or what he is feeling (wanting to make sure she doesn't notice that he was looking at the barista). Annie says she can only hear what thoughts are directed at her. She then encourages Phil to go and ask the barista, and he almost does, but steps back and says she gives bad advice. The two continue to talk mentally, each ordering pizza for a long-distance telepathic encounter.
After a few games, Annie admits she was jealous of the barista. The couple then share their full and local names, realizing that they are hundreds of miles apart. Annie makes Phil promise that he won't look for her because he thinks that knowing more will ruin what makes their connection uniquely romantic. Phil doesn't keep his promise for long and then searches for her, seeing a picture of her before starting to talk to her again.
After spending a few days talking through their minds and essentially dating, Phil suggests that they meet in person. Annie shut up, saying it's complicated and interrupts their conversation to go to bed. Phil searches for her online, discovering that she is married and he immediately confronts Annie, who admits it. She says she has not been happy for years and feels trapped, calling her husband "not a nice guy". Annie has never met anyone who understands her as Phil.
In bed later that night, Phil and Annie discover that, while directing their thoughts to each other, they can hear each other if they speak out loud, not just when they are thinking. Phil ends up having an existential crisis about his purpose on Earth, and Annie says she believes there must be a reason for everything. Annie believes that one day they will see that they were on their way, and promises Phil that he has a purpose and asks that he be with her.
The next morning, Phil tells Annie that he needs to meet her, but Annie says that she never wanted to go too far and then says that it is too dangerous and that she can't do it anymore. Phil calls out her name, but she "disappears" leaving Phil alone with his own thoughts.
Phil is heartbroken, attacking Annie in anger, but she continues to ignore him. He searches for her address online, but can't find it. He begs her to say something to him, to let him know that this is real, but she remains silent. Phil tries to return to the dating game, taking the barista out to dinner, but the night goes by horribly. During the meeting, Annie suddenly reappears in Phil's mind, saying that she needs him and agrees to meet him. While Phil makes a scene in the restaurant, screaming with excitement and rhythm, Annie tells him to meet her at Pilson Bay. Phil packs and jumps on the train.
While on the train, Annie tells him that a strange guy is making her uncomfortable on the train. She tries to get away from him, with Phil in her head telling her to run, but she starts screaming and is silent. Four hours later, Phil arrives at the station where Annie stopped before they lost their connection, looking desperately for her. He discovers her broken glasses, but she is nowhere to be seen.
As he cries, Annie begins to speak, saying that she thinks she is in the forest and can hear an owl. Phil listens until he hears owls in the distance and runs in that direction. Eventually, Phil comes across a house and knocks on the door. He asks the man who answers if there are other houses in the area; the guy says no. Phil demands to know if he is hiding something in his home and if he has seen a woman in the area. Annie telepathically tells Phil that the man who took her had a beard and a plaid shirt, matching the guy's description. Phil beats the man to death, demanding to know where Annie is.
When Phil realizes that he killed the man, he apologizes, hitting him over the head with a candlestick to ensure he did the deed. He hears a little girl calling his father, turning around and seeing a child standing at the door. Suddenly, Annie, not in Phil's head, but in person, walks over to her daughter to sleep. Phil, covered in blood, extends his arms of happiness when he sees her, saying, "Annie, it's me".
Annie starts to panic, asking who Phil is and trying to protect her daughter. She sees her husband dead and screams, moving away from Phil. Pushing her daughter into a room, Annie takes a cleaver and tells Phil to say away from her. Phil starts to scream that he just saved his life. The police arrive and arrest Phil while he begs Annie to tell the truth, but she denies knowing him, saying that he broke into her house and attacked her husband.
In the back of the police car, Phil realizes that his therapist was right. He hears voices and traveled halfway across the country to no one, because it was just him all the time and now he killed a random guy. Then Annie returns to Phil's mind and explains that she has been waiting for a long time, that a future without her husband is better for her and her daughter. She explains that Phil was her escape hatch and he saved them; your new life can start because of him. Phil says that she lied to him. Annie replies that she just told Phil what he wanted to hear and that she told him that he had a purpose before saying goodbye when Phil was taken away.
Peele closes the episode: “What kind of commitment does it connect with another human being? Are you meeting in the middle? Or going to the end of the line? Philip Hayes found connection, but only with the darkest part of his soul. A region of self that he will inhabit for the rest of his life. Here, in the twilight zone.
What did you think of the premiere of the second season of The Twilight Zone? Let us know in the comments below!