Twisted Metal season 1, episode 3 recap: “NTHLAW1”

TWISTED METAL -- “WLUDRV” Episode 101 -- Pictured: Thomas Haden Church as Agent Stone -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/Peacock)
TWISTED METAL -- “WLUDRV” Episode 101 -- Pictured: Thomas Haden Church as Agent Stone -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/Peacock) /

At the end of the last episode of Twisted Metal, John and Quiet had been stopped by a traffic stop set up by Agent Stone’s men. When Quiet saw one of the men responsible for the death of her brother, she tried attacking.

This unsuccessful attempt gets both Quiet and John captured. As this episode begins, the agents take their new prisoners to a holding cell, saying that they’re holding the two of them for traveling without a license.

This means that they’re trapped in the post-apocalyptic version of a DMV.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 3 recap: Agent Stone takes center stage

As John and Quiet are being held, John’s car is being searched, where the map he is using is discovered, and quickly brought to the attention of Agent Stone. It turns out that the map shows a perfect route avoiding every one of Stone’s checkpoints across the country.

Stone asks John where he got the map and who made it, but John refuses to give up his friend. John and Quiet are tortured, which means waterboarding.

But since it’s the DMV, there’s plenty of paperwork for them to fill out as part of the torture. Still, John won’t give up the name, and they are forced to take on the ultimate punishment, walking the red line.

It should be noted at this point that the whole base is set in the abandoned Hoover Dam, and walking the red line ends with jumping off the dam to your death. John and Quiet talk to Stu, the only guard who seems to be showing any remorse for their actions, into letting them go, promising to take him with them.

The three of them hurry to get the keys to John’s car and escape, but Quiet disappears, going after Stone. She finds his office, but Stone has already left.

She does find Agent Shepard and kills him, discovering that Stone is headed toward Topeka before joining back up with John and Stu. The group make their escape, but Stu gets left behind at the mercy of the other agents who he betrayed.

As John and Quiet drive away from the base, Quiet asks Joe to drop her off in Topeka as the episode comes to a close.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 3 recap: Also, there’s a flashback

This episode also featured an extended flashback sequence sprinkled in, showing the early days of the apocalypse and a much younger Agent Stone. It turns out that he was a cop before everything went bad.

But since his beat included the local mall, he was always viewed as nothing more than a mall cop. Things seemed to get worse when the apocalypse started with his neighbors attacking him and stealing all his things.

However, when a local store owner shows up asking for his help, Stone feels the calling of the law once more. The store owner says that a group of terrorists attacked his store.

When Stone investigates, the terrorists are normal people looking for food since the store has stockpiled so much of it. Stone tells them that they have to obey the law.

The looters/hungry people point out that there really isn’t any more law because of the whole apocalypse thing. One of the looters mentions how Stone is nothing more than a mall cop, and that they don’t have to listen to him.

Stone snaps, shooting everyone. In the firefight, a kid is killed, but Stone rejects responsibility for the death, blaming the others since they were the ones breaking the law.

A pretty clear character arc for the character we see in the rest of the show.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 3 recap: An attempt at character development

This is the first time on the show that we get something that is supposed to be character development. We’ve had hints of character development with John and Quiet’s relationship, and foreshadowing with the mystery of John’s past.

We’ve even had what amounts to a parody of character development with Sweet Tooth in the last episode. But Agent Stone’s backstory seems to be trying to genuinely explain why that character is who he is in the present day.

And like everything else in the show, the episode struggles to figure out the tone it wants, before sticking the landing at the last moment. While the episode still pulls off what it’s trying to accomplish, it still feels like it barely gets there.

For the first time the shorter running time of the episodes makes the whole thing feel rushed. It feels like the information is there, but the emotional response the episode is going for is muted.

Perhaps it was too early in the show for a flashback episode like this one, as the John and Quiet parts still really drove the episode forward, more than anything, we learned in the flashback moments.

Netflix’s Ragnarok season 3 episode 1 recap: War Is Over. dark. Next

What did you think of Twisted Metal season 1 episode 3? You can watch Twisted Metal season 1 on Peacock TV.