Revisiting The Twilight Zone: S4 E11: The Parallel
This is one of those episodes that comes along every so often, and opens so many questions about the possibilities of the universe that you can’t help but spend the whole time exploring the varied outcomes that could occur in such a situation. It’s entertaining and it makes you think as well, the best kind of episodes.
This is one that really utilizes the Twilight Zone as a real entity, the cross of another dimension or universe. That is exactly what faces Major Robert Gaines here, as he returns from the longest spaceflight made by man to discover that not everything is the way he left it when he left Earth. In fact, it is the subtle differences that not only have him confused, but also his family, his co-workers and his superiors.
What is most enjoyable about this episode is that it really does make you think. Could there be multiple dimensions or universes? If there are, if they are parallel, is it possible to slip through a crack and wind up in one? And just what would you do if you did?
The end is also the perfect way to complete the loop of the story, with Gaines finding his way back, and just beginning to believe that he dreamed it all and that it didn’t happen… until the final phase of the episode. Terrific storytelling and writing.
Rating: “Who the hell is John Kennedy?” 5/5