Twisted Metal season 1, episode 7 recap: “NUTH0UZ”

TWISTED METAL -- "NUTHOUZ" Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Joe Seanoa as Sweet Tooth, Mike Mitchell as Stu -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/Peacock/Sony TV)
TWISTED METAL -- "NUTHOUZ" Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Joe Seanoa as Sweet Tooth, Mike Mitchell as Stu -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/Peacock/Sony TV) /

At the end of the last episode of Twisted Metal, John and Quiet finally decided to consider themselves teamed up, instead of just two people who happen to be going in the same direction in the same car. With this all sorted out, they get to New Chicago pretty quickly and pick up the package that needs to be delivered back to New San Francisco.

The pickup itself is rather mysterious, set up like a haunted house with a contact point that refuses to show their face. But John is able to get the package without incident and the two of them head back to complete the delivery.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 7 recap: Rest, resupply, and refresh

While on the way back, John and Quiet make a stop at a secret Milkman hideout, where they can gas up, get some supplies, and trade information with other Milkmen. There they run into Mary, a girl from John’s past.

The awkwardness of the triangle between John, Quiet, and Mary plays out, but it takes a turn when an inebriated John lets it slip that the delivery of his package will grant him a chance to live on the inside. Mary tells the rest of the Milkmen in the pitstop that John’s delivery is a ticket to a life inside a city, so the whole group plans to kill John and Quiet and take the package.

It seems like there’s no escape, until John points out an obvious flaw in the plan. Only one person can be the person who delivers the package, meaning that each individual Milkman is against everyone else in the room, as much as they’re against John and Quiet.

This bit of truth turns a coordinated attack into a free-for-all as everybody starts attacking everyone else at once. Because John and Quiet are the only ones working together, the brawl ends with the two of them as the last ones standing.

They gas up and continue on their way, not knowing that another person survived the fight and sent a message to Agent Stone as to their whereabouts.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 7 recap: Sweet Tooth gets a backstory

As all this is going on, we also get an update on what Sweet Tooth has been up to, starting with a flashback to 1989. We learn that he was, at one point, a child star who, after getting upstaged by his dog costar one too many times on a family sitcom, killed the dog and got committed to a mental asylum.

Now, in the present, Sweet Tooth has returned to the asylum he grew up in, with Stu and his followers/fans in tow. At the asylum, Sweet Tooth tells Stu that he has unfinished business, which turns out to be confronting his parents who had him committed in the first place.

It turns out that Sweet Tooth had locked up his parents back when the world fell apart, in the very cell that he had been forced to stay in. That had been some time ago, so the closure that Sweet Tooth gets comes in the form of yelling at their skeletal remains, before smashing them to pieces.

This works great to help Sweet Tooth, but his joy is short-lived, because when he returns, he finds all of his followers killed. A unit from Agent Stone’s force had tracked Sweet Tooth down due to his destroying multiple police checkpoints and freeing all the prisoners.

After killing the entire group, Stone orders his men to make sure everyone is dead and bring him the mask of the clown. Mike, who is one of the people assigned to finish off the group, finds Stu’s body and breaks down.

He apologizes for killing him, only to have Stu sit up and reveal that he had been faking his death. Sweet Tooth, of course, also survived and kills all of Stone’s men who are left.

Stu steps in at the last moment to save Mike’s life, but Sweet Tooth warns him that Stu will be responsible for Mike if they keep him, as the episode comes to a close.

Twisted Metal season 1, episode 7 recap: Binging TV vs. once a week

This is the kind of episode that really stands out in a world of binging. While it works just fine as a standalone episode, with an A plot and a B plot, and a little three act structure for each, it hits a little differently when you know the ending is just a few episodes away.

While it’s still enjoyable to watch, when you can easily take in the whole season at once, this feels like an intentional pause in the road to help stretch out the story. The two main characters have to stop at a previously unmentioned location to interact with a whole cast of brand-new characters, that pretty much all die by the end of the episode, leaving just the two main characters to move on to the next episode.

There is a little bit of overarching plot progression, and the Sweet Tooth parts take up a good chunk of the runtime. But it still feels like more episode than progress was taking place here.

This isn’t meant to necessarily be a complaint. As much as this is a show with action and violence, it’s still a character driven show.

For that to work, we need to be able to spend time with the characters. One of the problems with the shorter seasons that have become popular over the past few years, is that we get less time to simply “hang out” with these characters and get to know them better.

That’s something that can easily be lost when you start to think of a TV season as a 6–13 hour long movie, rather than a collection of episodes telling connected but still separate stories. These days people seem split on the binge model vs. the weekly episode drop model.

Pretty much every streaming service is doing both, depending on what show we’re talking about and there are good aspects of each. But as we move forward, trying to figure out the best way to consume media in today’s landscape, it’s important to remember that the pit stops in the narrative moving forward can be important as well.

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What did you think of Twisted Metal season 1 episode 7? You can watch Twisted Metal season 1 on Peacock TV.