I am a fan of the original version of The Twilight Zone. So this new version faces serious competition. “Replay” is the first episode I watched, and I found it an excellent addition to the franchise.
I am old and white and full of privilege. And although I am sympathetic with the plight of African Americans and people of colour in a largely racist society, I can’t say with honesty that I am empathetic. That is to say, while I can be upset with the injustices and abuse they face, I cannot feel how they feel. I’ve never faced racism so I cannot understand it from their perspective.
But “Replay” helped me see with a new pair of eyes. The absolutely claustrophobic Officer Lasky, this ever-present, almost-a-haunting that never goes away. No matter what Nina and Dorian try, Lasky finds them and hurts them. But Lasky is not a monster. He is ordinary, which makes him all that more terrifying. An ordinary symbol of authority is never more than a glance away from becoming an expression of privilege and racism.
Each repeat, Lasky is there. Each repeat he does not know them, and yet Nina knows him. Knows what he is capable of. Knows what he will inevitably do. What a world that must be, to see this, not possibility, but eventuality, shivering like a mirage between the every day moments of life.
As I said, this is the only episode of the reboot I’ve watched so far. But “Replay” can stand with any Twilight Zone episode as an equal. I try to be a progressive and decent human being. “Replay” showed me a world, however briefly, that exists for some people. A world I will never have to fear or experience. I understood this world existed intellectually, but now some great social art has helped me to feel this world, if only diluted and for a few minutes. I can’t imagine having to live with this every day. My hope is “Replay” will make others feel the way it made me feel, and maybe, in its own small way, work towards making this world a thing of the past.
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