The Twilight Zone season 1, episode 5 recap: The Wunderkind

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“Wunderkind” — Pictured (l-r): John Cho as Raff Hanks; Jacob Tremblay as Oliver Foley of the CBS All Access series THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Photo Cr: Robert Falconer/CBS © 2018 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Cut to the debate. It’s awful. Oliver can’t answer questions and the other candidates and the audience are literally laughing in his face. It’s the worst possible outcome. It’s “Oliver literally called for his mom, who had to come carry him off stage” bad.

Raff is devastated. He can’t convince Oliver’s parents that Oliver will bounce back and things will be ok. The campaign looks over. The next time we see Raff he’s back at his bar, drinking.

It’s who days before the Iowa primary when Maura comes to Raff’s bar to check on him. As they talk, Raff confesses that he actually started to believe the things Oliver was saying and admits that letting him debate was a mistake.

Maura says she’s talked to Oliver and the family and Oliver isn’t mad at Raff. She also tells Raff that Oliver said his dog is dying of cancer. Oliver also asked Maura to check with Raff to see if it was ok for him to vlog about his dying dog.

Initially, Raff shrugs it off. The campaign is over, so why not. But then, this sparks an idea for Raff. He checks with Maura to make sure they’re still on the ballot for Iowa (they are, it was too late to take them off) before running off to rejoin Oliver.

The Twilight Zone then shows Oliver’s video talking about his dog. Along with this, the video also talks shows Oliver admitting that he doesn’t know everything and saying he’ll surround himself with smart people. The message is that he’ll make sure you can “hug your sick pets longer.”

The video gets over 250 million views.

Cut directly to Oliver’s Iowa caucus win. He’s still behind in the national polls, but this was a big win for Oliver and Raff.

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Another jump forward and Oliver has won the presidency and we see his inaugural parade.

Making it to the White House, Oliver runs into the Oval Office and immediately jumps on and stands on the table. Settling into the seat, Oliver’s first order is to fulfill his campaign promises, starting with giving everyone free video games.

His advisors (and parents) try to point out that it’s not that simple (cause, you know, laws exist). But Oliver just wants it done and won’t take no for an answer. He threatens to tax companies and put them out of business if they don’t comply with his demand that they give away 270 million games.

Raff tries to suggest that Oliver settle in before trying to push his agenda.

Oliver, however, shoots back that everyone needs to do what he says or he’ll have them replaced. Everyone in the room stands stunned.

Jump forward, using my favorite transition ever: a shot of the White House lawn with random penguins walking around.

Inside the Oval Office, everything has changed. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (aka the highest ranking military official in the country) is casually pushing Oliver in a swing hung from the office ceiling. There’s a popcorn machine, a bean bag chair and a pinball machine (and more).

One advisor tries to tell Oliver that he needs to get his physical (which is required by Congress), but Oliver refuses. He yells at the advisor to unschedule the appointment and never re-schedule it. He also demands a new law banning “old” doctors.

No one in the room, not even his mother or Raff, can say no to him.

Leaving the room, Raff catches up to the Chairman and asks if he’s worried about Oliver acting about a spoiled child. This…was a mistake. The Chairman points out that Oliver’s approval ratings are through the roof and he does what the Commander in Chief tells him to. He tells Raff that it’s a strange time for Raff to be talking about treason.

Raff tries to explain that he wasn’t talking about treason, but the Chairman leaves.

Raff then turns and stops Helen, reminding her that she is the real president and Oliver is just a figurehead. He’s desperate to find someone who can stand up to Oliver, who he can see is getting a little power hungry. But even Helen thinks everything is going great.

Later, Raff and Maura talk and Maura suggests talking to Oliver. She says that this is probably just a phase. Oliver is a kid, he’ll grow out of it.

As a final attempt to raise Raff’s spirits, Maura reminds him that he (Raff) is famous now and will go down in history as the man who was able to get Oliver elected. What she doesn’t understand, though, is how much Raff no longer wants to be associated with that success.

The Twilight Zone transitions to find Oliver using a putting green in a room in the White House. Raff comes in and Oliver blames him for his putting miss. Oliver laments that he never can get a hole in one.

They talk casually and Raff joins in, putting with Oliver. Raff says he’s worried. Oliver says he’s worried too. When Raff asks why Oliver is worried, Oliver hits a button and turns on dim, dramatic lighting in the room. Oliver then brings up the talk that Raff is being treasonous. Raff tries to reason, but Oliver doesn’t listen. He says it disappoints him that Raff doesn’t fully back him, unconditionally, without thinking anything else.

As he talks, Oliver is putting and missing the hole, getting angrier and angrier. Finally, his anger at not being able to get a hole in one boils over and he throws a bucket of balls at the hole and claims that the two that went in count as a hole in one.

When Oliver asks Raff to back this claim up, though, Raff takes a symbolic stand and says that it doesn’t count. No matter what, Raff is making his stand.

Then, furious at Raff disagreeing with him and being “treasonous,” Oliver yells that Raff has a gun and the two secret service agents in the room shoot Raff.

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The Twilight Zone transitions again by showing news interviews of people angry at Raff for trying to kill Oliver. Then, we rejoin Raff who is (as mentioned before) strapped to a table. He’s bleeding and waiting for a doctor to arrive.

This episode of The Twilight Zone ends with one final twist as the doctor charged with potentially saving Raff’s life is a child, thanks to Oliver’s anti-old doctors law.

What message do you think this episode is trying to get across? Let us know all of your thoughts on The Twilight Zone in the comments.