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Recap / The Twilight Zone (1959) S3E1: "Two"
aka: The Twilight Zone S 3 E 66 Two

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Rod Serling: This is a jungle, a monument built by nature honoring disuse, commemorating a few years of nature being left to its own devices. But it's another kind of jungle, the kind that comes in the aftermath of man's battles against himself. Hardly an important battle, not a Gettysburg or a Marne or an Iwo Jima. More like one insignificant corner patch in the crazy quilt of combat. But it was enough to end the existence of this little city. It's been five years since a human being walked these streets. This is the first day of the sixth year - as man used to measure time. The time: perhaps a hundred years from now. Or sooner. Or perhaps it already happened two million years ago. The place? The signposts are in English so that we may read them more easily, but the place is the Twilight Zone.

A female soldier (Elizabeth Montgomery) wanders into an abandoned city. While rummaging for supplies, she briefly admires a dress in a department store window. She enters a restaurant's kitchen, crushes a tarantula on the counter, and finds some canned chicken. Before she can eat, a male soldier (Charles Bronson) in the enemy's uniform, enters the kitchen. She immediately throws a bottle, a butcher knife, and a pot at the man, before she tackles him through a table and rains punches on him. The man fights back and manages to knock her out cold, then ravenously devours the canned chicken.

After eyeing a model on a pin-up calendar, the man considers his options, then pours some water on the woman to wake her. She backs away from in fear and anger, but he offers her the remaining food and explains that everyone else is dead, so he doesn't want to fight anymore. He finishes his speech by saying that he finds her pretty. She just stares blankly, prompting the man to realize that she does not speak English, prompting him to sadly exit.

After the woman finishes eating, she continues her exploration of the city. She enters the barbershop, where the man is shaving and washing his face. He tosses a bar of soap to her, which she catches. Eyeing him with suspicion, she washes her hair. With nothing better to do, the woman follows the man when he exits. They then come to a theater, where the man raids the cash register, but realizes that he has nothing to buy and no one to buy from, so he throws the money away. Suddenly, the duo spot two skeletons with working rifles. They dive for them and point the weapons at each other, but quickly calm down and holster them.

They then come to the department store window, where the woman admires the dress again and calls it "прекрасный" ('prekrasnyj', Russian for "pretty"). The man breaks the window and gives her the dress. She enters an empty office to change, but finds it full of recruitment propaganda posters. Reminded of her hostilities and filled with murderous rage, she bursts out of the room and opens fire on the man, who barely rolls out of the way. Disappointed, the man leaves, with the woman keeping her gun on him until he is out of sight.

That night, the woman takes shelter from the rain in the barbershop. She sits in one of the chairs, wraps herself in a blanket, and cries herself to sleep. The next morning, the man has changed from his army uniform into a suit, and is busy collecting jars of fruit. He notices the woman hiding behind a car. He angrily yells at her to go away, but she reveals that she is wearing the dress and has put her hair into a ponytail. Mesmerized, he calls her 'prekrasnyj'. Upon hearing this, she smiles. Now resembling a bride and groom, the two soldiers-turned-lovers walk off into the city streets.


Tworopes:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: As far as the episode shows, the man and woman may be the only remaining humans in the country, maybe even the world.
  • After the End: Some sort of war devastated the world, and the titular two are the only humans shown to still be alive.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The episode takes place in the aftermath of a nuclear war that devastated the world, but the time period is left vague. In his opening narration, Rod Serling says that it's "perhaps a hundred years from now. Or sooner. Or perhaps it's already happened two million years ago."
  • Anachronism Stew: Deliberately used in regards to the war. The man wears what appears to be a Confederate uniform, while the woman wears what appears to be a Soviet uniform. Military posters throughout the ruined city show tanks and planes. Nuclear weapons were responsible for destroying the city and the world. The discarded rifles that he and the woman find are laser guns. The calendar shows what could have been February, 1961, the year this episode aired.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Even during his attempts at peace, the woman is still rather trigger-happy around the man. It's only after she drives him away and spends the night crying herself to sleep, that she accepts his company and smiles.
  • Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: The man speaks English (with an American accent, of course), while the woman speaks Russian.
  • Hates Being Alone: After so much war, and seeing a pin-up of a model before remembering his foe is a woman, the man decides that he'd much rather co-exist with the woman in peace rather than continue fighting. The night after making him go away, it seems that woman realizes she hates having nobody around as well.
  • Language Barrier: It becomes clear right away that the man and woman are incapable of understanding the other's language.
  • Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: When the man finishes eating the canned chicken, he casually tosses the bones to the side. When the woman finishes hers, she puts the bones back into the can and then puts the can into the trash.
  • Minimalist Cast: Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson are the only actors to appear.
  • Mexican Standoff: While trying to get along, the two soldiers find guns and aim at each other for a moment.
  • Nameless Narrative: Neither character ever says their name, nor does Serling name them.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The woman only says one word in Russian, but it's spoken in a decidedly American accent.
  • Patriotic Fervor: After the woman starts trusting the man, he gives her a ball gown to change out of her military uniform. Unfortunately, the office she uses to change happens to have been used for military recruitment. While she can't read the signs, the sight of the enemy tank corp, the air force, and the infantry fans the flames of war in her heart, and she rushes out of the building firing her weapon at the man. While he is slightly injured, the look of betrayal on his face says what his feelings now are.
  • Ray Gun: The soldiers in both armies were equipped with laser weapons, judging by the discarded rifles that the pair find.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: After washing her face and putting on the dress, the man finds the woman to look beautiful.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Minus the kiss, it's more of an exchange of smiles that suggests the two soldiers are starting to fall in love.
  • Urban Ruins: The man and woman are the first people to set foot in the ruined city since the war that devastated the world five years earlier. They discover the skeletal remains of several people, as well as a pair of birds that someone kept as pets.
  • The Voiceless: "прекрасный," the Russian word for "pretty", is the only word the woman says in the whole episode.
  • War Is Hell: The man's opinion of the conflict. Since the world is devastated and he and the woman are presumably the only humans left alive, he no longer has any urge or reason to fight.
  • Water Wake Up: The man pours some water on the woman to wake her up after he knocks her out.
  • When Harry Met Svetlana: The man appears to be American while the woman is Russian.
  • When She Smiles: In the final scene, the woman smiles when the man calls her "прекрасный".
  • Worthless Currency: The man discards the money he finds in a cash register, figuring that it's useless without anything to buy or anyone to buy from.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The man gets into a fistfight with a female enemy soldier, knocking her out cold.


Rod Serling: This has been a love story, about two lonely people who found each other, in the Twilight Zone.

Alternative Title(s): The Twilight Zone S 3 E 66 Two

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