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Recap / The Twilight Zone S 5 E 150 Stopover In A Quiet Town

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An adorable little girl and her playmates.

Rod Serling: "Bob and Millie Frazier, average young New Yorkers who attended a party in the country last night and on the way home took a detour. Most of us on waking in the morning know exactly where we are; the rooster or the alarm clock brings us out of sleep into the familiar sights, sounds, aromas of home and the comfort of a routine day ahead. Not so with our young friends. This will be a day like none they've ever spent – and they'll spend it in the Twilight Zone."
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Bob (Barry Nelson) and Millie Frazier (Nancy Malone), a married couple, wake up in a room they don’t recognize. The night before they attended a party and both drank heavily. He passed out before he could drive home, so she got behind the wheel. While they were on their way home, a large shadow fell on their car.

The couple is mystified and frustrated by the house they’ve awoken to. Trying to call out on the phone, they find that it’s not hooked up. The refrigerator only contains plastic prop food. The oddities continue when they leave the house and walk around the neighborhood. When Millie approaches a squirrel in a tree and pets it, the squirrel falls over and turns out to be stuffed. The trees themselves are made of papier-mâché and have no roots. And while the neighborhood appears to be entirely deserted, they hear the laughter of a little girl they can’t see.

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The Fraziers make increasingly desperate attempts to escape. These include entering the church and ringing the bell as a distress signal. Relief seems to appear when they walk away from the residential area and find a train station. Their mood lightens and they are able to make jokes about the town they believe they are leaving, ignoring for the time being the absence of other passengers or railroad workers on the train. The train brings them full circle to “Centerville”, exactly the place they had just departed.

Returning to the town center, Bob and Millie again hear the little girl’s laughter. Now there is another shadow over them. This turns out to be a hand, the hand of a giant child. The little girl’s mother tells her that it’s time for dinner. She wants to keep playing with her “pets” – Bob and Millie – pets that her father picked up for her while visiting Earth. Bob and Millie have been abducted and relocated to a toy simulacrum of a small town on Earth, one that they can’t leave.

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Rod Serling: "The moral of what you've just seen is clear. If you drink, don't drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn't drive either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache in a deserted village in the Twilight Zone."


Tropes:

  • Asshole Victim/Jerkass: Between their being drunk drivers and their being two unlikable people who argue almost constantly, both the Fraziers qualify.
  • Being Watched: At one point while she and her husband are walking around the empty town, Millie Frazier says that she has the feeling of being watched. The revelation of who's watching them is the Twilight Zone Twist.
  • Creepy Child: The little girl the Fraziers hear, and finally see at the end.
  • The Dreaded Pretend Tea Party: The plot is a disturbing variation on the trope. A couple who were drunk driving wake up to discover themselves alone in a town they can't seem to escape from. The Plot Twist is that they're in an alien child's dollhouse and surrounding toy town, and the child is just playing. After they ran off the road, the child's parents took them home to the child as playthings. Whether the child and parents are giant or there was a Shrink Ray involved is never explored. But the fear of the couple is genuine in this case given the owner of the dollhouse is at least 100 times their size.
  • Drunk Driver: Both Bob and Millie, which is how they got here.
  • Human Aliens: Aside from their size, the little girl and her unseen mother appear to be completely humanoid in both appearance and behavior.
  • Human Pet: How the Fraziers wind up.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Bob and Millie snipe at each other constantly. While some of this is undoubtedly stress caused by their bizarre situation, theirs doesn't seem to be a happy marriage in general.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't drink and drive, because you could be kidnapped by aliens and turned into a child's toy. Presumably Bob and Millie could have evaded the giant extraterrestrial hand from the sky if only they were sober.
  • Square-Cube Law: Entirely ignored, as the aliens are hundreds of times larger than ordinary humans but otherwise look just the same. (That is, assuming the Fraziers weren't shrunk; the episode doesn't specify.)
  • Tuckerization: A sign outside the church in the apparent deserted town states that the reverend is Kogh Gleason. This is a reference to F. Keogh Gleason, a regular MGM set decorator who worked on the series during its first three seasons.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: The episode begins In Medias Res, after the Fraziers have encountered the shadow and lost consciousness. They wake up in an unfamiliar house.

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