The Twilight Zone Season 2, Episode 5 recap: “Among the Untrodden”
The Twilight Zone Season 2 has had some hits and misses thus far, but by far, the best episode of the bunch (at least out of the first five) has to be “Among the Untrodden.” In a story clearly inspired by The Craft and Stephen King’s Carrie, we are introduced to some teenage girls who may or may not have superpowers.
While the basic premise of the show might seem cliché and predictable, the episode quickly goes beyond that. At first, it appears to be another “strange new girl versus the mean girl clique” plot, but then The Twilight Zone Season 2 mixes things up by giving the mean girl the superpowers instead of the outcast — an observation keenly noted by Den of Geek‘s reviewer Ryan Britt.
Surprisingly, Abbie Hern is a newcomer with The Twilight Zone Season 2, serving as one of her first major acting roles. Hern is excellent in the part of Madison, a bully who secretly just wants a friend.
Enter Sophia Macy’s Irene, who chooses to do a project based on Zener cards for the science fair.
She wants to test her classmates for psychic ability and is shocked to discover that none other than Madison, the girl who has been antagonizing her since day one, has proven to show the most promise.
Throughout the bulk of the episode, Irene and Madison begin to genuinely care for one another as they test Madison’s abilities to see exactly what she’s capable of. Still, it is the ending of the hour that proves just how spectacular the writing (and set design) for “Among the Untrodden truly is.
The Twilight Zone Season 2, Episode 5 recap: Explaining that twist ending
The ending of the fifth episode has a double twist of sorts. At first, it appears that Irene might secretly have held the power all along — and been gaslighting Madison into thinking they were her abilities.
It sort of makes sense since every time Madison used her psychic powers, Irene was present. Also, remember the pencil that disintegrated? Then the key? My initial theory was that Irene had a gift and wanted to find someone else who also had one.
I thought Irene could make objects turn to dust and did so on the key so that Madison could not go out on the balcony with her other pals without Irene there. Then during the science fair, the mean girl gang plays a terrible prank on Irene that makes her deliver an ear-splitting screen.
Seemingly as a result of her scream, all the glass in the vicinity breaks and the three bullies each fall into a coma. The display of power makes Madison think Irene had been the one pulling her puppet strings.
Irene vehemently denies the claim. She then forces Madison to admit that the two of them are genuinely friends, which is all Madison wanted. Finally, Madison agrees that they’re friends, and the two share a tender hug. Except, after hugging, Irene suddenly turns to stone and collapses into rubble — just like the key and pencil.
Fast-forward ahead, and Madison is drawing on her desk when a new girl looking suspiciously similar to Irene walks in the door. Madison smiles, and we realize that she has “conjured,” a new friend. The narration reiterates that Madison has created a psychic prison, and the cycle will continue to repeat.
So like the key, Irene collapsed when she fulfilled her purpose.
What did you think about The Twilight Zone Season 2, Episode 5? What did you think about the twist ending? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The Twilight Zone Season 2 is currently available to stream in full on CBS All Access.