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YMMV / The Twilight Zone S 4 E 106 Hes Alive

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  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Was anyone besides Vollmer surprised when his Mysterious Benefactor turned out to be Adolf Hitler? Granted, at the time many suspected many high-ranking Nazis managed to escape (which was then quickly proven true), so it's possible the episode was trying to keep the reveal at least somewhat ambiguous. He also has a German accent, making it more likely this is meant to be Hitler's ghost, or even the spiritual embodiment of Nazism itself.
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  • Complete Monster: Adolf Hitler himself turns out to be the shadowy benefactor of the troubled neo-Nazi Peter Vollmer, corrupting the young man into a solid mouthpiece through which to kickstart a new, hate-fueled Reich. Hitler cajoles Vollmer into murdering one of his own loyal followers to make a martyr out of him to inspire the crowds Vollmer amasses while stamping out any hints of decency or hesitance in Vollmer, ultimately ordering him to murder Ernst, the old Jewish man who raised Vollmer practically as his own son. When Vollmer is finally gunned down, Hitler has formed him into his exact image of the perfect Nazi: all steel, and no heart, with Hitler himself seeping back into the shadow to feed off the prejudice and hate that authored so many millions of deaths during his reign of terror.
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  • Fridge Logic: How did Peter, a young man whose surrogate father is a Jewish Holocaust survivor, still become a Neo-Nazi? That seems kind of... odd. There's a whole other story here.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Peter comes off as detestable, but there are still glimpses of humanity in him. However, when he decides to murder Ernst, it solidifies him as utterly irredeemable.
  • Narm: Some find Dennis Hopper's performance as Peter this, as he comes off as shrill and annoying rather than charismatic and mesmerizing in his Nazi speeches. Also, Curt Conway, who played Hitler, does not look like the real Hitler at all, which is especially obvious when he actually has to stand by a photograph of the real Hitler.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Considering the large amount of vitriolic hate mail Serling and his staff received following the airing of this episode condemning the use of Adolf Hitler as the villain, this was very much justified.
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  • Tear Jerker: Any time Ernst starts talking about how the Nazis took over Germany, have tissues at the ready. The actor, Ludwig Donath, was Jewish and had to leave Germany then his native Austria ahead of the Nazis, making it even worse. He knew all this firsthand.
  • Values Resonance:
    • The idea that evils such as hatred and racism can come from everywhere and that people must stand up to prevent them are concepts that can work for every era, especially as the modern world becomes increasingly connected, allowing for those ideas to be more easily spread.
    • A lot of the tactics Peter uses (claiming that everyone who opposes him is a communist, framing his virulent racism as "just a different set of opinions" (without bringing up what those opinions are), framing the unpopularity of their ideas as proof both that they're the real marginalized minority and that the people pushing back against them are the real bigots, etc.) are being adopted by the "alt-right" Neo-Nazi movement in The New '10s.
    • Peter being ordered by his "handler" or "recruiter" to kill the one person in the world he loves in the guise of removing softness is not only reminiscent of the recruiting tactic of giving the totally-radicalized organizational member a mission, but of the frequent demand by far-right organizations that their members must burn bridges and cut out positive relationships in their lives (if not usually with outright murder) so as to cement their hold on these recruits and remove places they may go to escape if they do try to get out.


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