Friday, February 12, 2021

Review of "The Mind and the Matter," season 2, episode 27 of the Twilight Zone

 Review of

The Mind and the Matter, season 2, episode 27 of the Twilight Zone

Four out of five stars

The old myth of King Midas retold

 Most of the stories that appear in recent entertainment media are simply modern restatements of myths. Specifically, those we are most familiar with, those of the ancient Greeks. This episode is a retelling of the ancient myth of King Midas, who wanted everything he touched turned into gold. It is a story of being careful what you wish for, you just might get it and not like it.

 Archibald Beechcroft is a man that lives in a small apartment, rides a crowded subway to work, steps into a packed elevator to go to the proper floor and shares a noisy office space where he does paperwork for an insurance company. Fed up with human clutter and the noise it makes, his wish is that he not have to interact with people.

 The one co-worker that he seems to get along with gives him a copy of a book about the power of the mind and he devours it. Archibald suddenly discovers that he has acquired incredible mental powers and he wishes that all people are gone. He is astonished when that happens and he has the subway, elevators and his office all to himself.

 Of course, with no other humans to interact with, he quickly finds himself bored and unstimulated. An exterior version of himself serves as an active critic, letting him know that things are nothing like what he wanted. Fortunately, when Archibald reaches the conclusion that his old life was about as good as it was going to get, he still has the power to turn back the context. He is not content, just resigned to his fate in what is the best life he could have.

 This episode is a demonstration of the reality that if you want to be successful in creating interesting and entertaining stories, the best place to start is with the most ancient of myths. With the exception of technological advancement, nothing in them has changed all that much.

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