The Twilight Zone Season 2 Episode 2 Summary: Downtime
In ep. 2.02 from The twilight zoneAfter a recent promotion to hotel manager, Michelle (Morena Baccarin) feels like a world leader, but every reason to celebrate is short-lived when the nature of her reality is challenged. Colman Domingo and Tony Hale are also guest stars in the episode of Jordan Peele.
After Michelle officially received her promotion as hotel manager from her newly retired boss, Reggie, who tells her that she chose the right life, Michelle celebrates with the rest of the hotel staff before moving on to her new role. This role involves dealing with difficult guests like Mr. Desmond and his wife. After Michelle reminded her colleague Geoffrey that even the most unreasonable customers had to be sensible, she spoke to her husband Carl on the phone about mastering her new job as a "Miss Manager".
When Michelle hangs up, she suddenly has a burning headache and her heart starts pounding. As the episode passes, she notices that everyone around her has stood and stared at a single point in the sky. When Michelle spots the large ball that hovers above them, she is confused as to why none of the spectators is running. Instead, they react as if the existence of the blinking ball were completely natural. A woman asks Michelle how long the downtime should last before staring at the ball and going into a trance.
Peele, as our narrator, officially introduced the episode: “Michelle Weaver is a woman who has worked all her life to get where she is in the world. Now that this new chapter begins, the world will change itself. She immediately takes a break from life as she knows it and books a longer stay here in the Twilight Zone. "
Michelle runs into a cop on her hurry home. He explains that the red ball is there for the planned “world maintenance” before it goes into a trance itself. Michelle finds Carl in her house, seemingly fine, and tries to explain what is going on outside. Suddenly Carl starts to speak with a very strong Irish accent and says that he has completely forgotten the planned downtime signal. Then he tells Michelle that his name is Danny and he goes outside to "wake up".
When Michelle expresses more confusion about the game that Carl or Danny is playing, he realizes that she doesn't remember who she is. Carl tells Michelle that he will send someone to help her before staring at the flashing light and falling into the downtime trance. Michelle goes back to her house and is followed by two men who claim to be customer service who are there to diagnose the problem. If you find that she doesn't know who she is, ask her to watch a video.
The video introduces Michelle to the Sleepaway package, the latest in identity tourism. Essentially, it's an alternate reality that is monitored and controlled by their servers, using people's brains as computers. The only rule is that you have to stay in character while you inhabit your character's avatar.
S. Phineas Lowell
Michelle is told that her character is played by a man named S. Phineas Lowell, who had a heart attack during the game and is now in a coma, which is why Michelle does not remember being Phineas and that she is actually an avatar. Customer service representatives say they can do a force unsync function, but Michelle wants to know what that means to her because she is Michelle Weaver and not Lowell.
Ellen, Phineas & # 39; emergency contact (and his wife) come into the room to try to wake Phineas. Ellen asks customer service to leave Michelle alone and says that she wants to speak to her privately. Michelle tells Ellen that she's not going and waits for the downtime signal to go away. Ellen says she understands why Phineas wanted to see Michelle because the avatar is strong, brave, controlled, and beautiful. Ellen warns that if he doesn't log out before the downtime ends, Phin will be lost forever.
Ellen kisses Michelle and tells her that she can feel him and believes that her 15-year-old husband, father of her two children, is simply trapped. Michelle finally gives in and says she is ready to try to see if she can wake Phineas. However, Michelle resigns in the last second while Ellen is already down.
Michelle tries to hide in the last few minutes of downtime while customer service is looking for her. A bird spots Michelle in a window and lets out a high-pitched roar that draws more customer service representatives to Michelle's location who are determined to find them within the next five minutes before global maintenance ends.
On the roof of the hotel, Michelle meets Tom, an escalated customer service who apologizes for the inconvenience. Tom says that when downtime ends, players will log in again, millions around the world. He tells Michelle that if she wants to stay, she can only sign a waiver. Michelle is reluctant to think that Phineas will be swept under the carpet, but Tom says that his family has been taken care of. Michelle decides that she cannot live in the world because she knows that she is not real and that Phineas has a real life with the family out there. Tom tells her that Phineas has been drinking a "sleeping pill smoothie" that caused the heart attack and that there is nothing to fall back on when she signs off since Phineas has since passed away.
Michelle says that she believes he can feel Phin now; Tom encourages her to play the game and continue to run the hotel as she wants. Michelle signs the waiver when Tom tells her that the only rule is that she has to stay in character. Michelle no longer understands the point of playing. But the downtime ends, the ball disappears and the game starts again. Michelle continues as the hotel manager and welcomes Ellen, who checks in as a guest and hopes to stay a few weeks.
Our narrator ends the episode: "How would you feel if you spent your life making your dreams come true just to find out that reality itself was a dream all the time? You never know what makes something real, but today Michelle Weaver has found meaning in an otherwise synthetic world. And that's good enough for them here in the Twilight Zone. "
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