The Twilight Zone
CBS All Access
Season 2 Episode 8
A Small Town
Church handyman Jason is still grieving the loss of his wife who was the former mayor of their now dying town. When he discovers a miniature of the town and begins to make improvements to it, he sees that the town itself is changing.
Jason recently lost his wife in a car accident and in his grief has moved into the local church attic to work as a handyman. The former deputy mayor is in control of the town and as he continues to prosper, the town itself is dying. People are moving out en masse and the local business are struggling. Jason discovers a miniature model of the town and when he begins to make improvements to the model, the town itself begins to reflect those changes.
With the town improving and tourists flocking to it, the people of the town credit the current mayor for the improvements much to Jason’s chagrin. The mayor doesn’t mind the accolades, but when Jason begins to terrorize him with everything from a meteor that crushes his car to a giant spider, the strange occurrences in the town threaten to tear it apart.
This was a good episode reminiscent of classic Twilight Zone. The biggest problem is that it felt unfinished. The entire time I was watching, I was expecting plot elements that were established to pay off and they never did. Jason’s wife died in a car accident and the corrupt deputy mayor took over. Did the deputy mayor have something to do with her death? It seems to be hinted at but never explored. Jason seems close with restaurant owner Ana and her son, but nothing seems to come from it. Mayor Conway is the villain of the episode, but he never does anything villainous other than taking credit for things he didn’t do.
This episode could have been so much better had it explored the characters it established and the situations that led to the events we see unfold. The performances were really good from Damon Wayans Jr and David Krumholtz, but the episode itself just felt unfinished.