This recap is for episode seven of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone reboot entitled “Not All Men”. Including this episode, we only have four more to go until the season is over! This recap contains spoilers, please proceed with caution!
OPENING NARRATION: “Meet Annie Miller. Annie has always seen the world as a place where she can maintain control if she just played by the rules. But tonight marks the beginning of a change. Both in her and the idyllic town that she’s always called home. One the eve of her sister’s birthday, Annie will be forced to contend with an event way out of her control in a simmering violence about to boil over into the Twilight Zone.”
The episode begins with Annie (Taissa Farmiga), a woman who is just starting a new job, talking on the phone with her boss. Annie seems to be trying to go the extra mile by taking on some extra work. After hanging up the phone she is approached by one of her co-workers, Dylan (Luke Kirby). Dylan offers to talk to their boss but Annie declines the offer. Dylan then invites her over to watch a meteor shower later that night to which Annie ultimately agrees.
Later the pair are having a glass of wine in the backyard of Dylan’s home waiting for the meteor shower to begin. Dylan is the first to notice the shower begin and points out the trails being left in the meteors wake. One of the meteors then hits a nearby water tower and another splashes into a nearby lake, something that Annie notes aloud. Another flies directly over them and the surprised pair decide to investigate the area in which it landed.
Walking into the wooded area near the impact zone, Dylan finds where the rock landed. Reaching down to pick it up he fumbles it around in his hand like a hot potato until its cool enough to hold and shines a flashlight onto it. As the two head back to the house, the camera pans down to a mysterious liquid bubbling and emitting a light smoke into the air.
Back in the house with Lionel Richie‘s “Hello” playing in the background, Dylan confesses that he has been dying to ask Annie out which surprises her. After a brief chat they begin to kiss and after a few moments of that Dylan becomes a little bit too hands on Annie stops him and tells him that she should go. Dylan protests and interrupts her by kissing her again. This time he begins to reach his hand up her dress to which she again reacts by stopping him. She gets up from the couch and tells him that she had a great night but its time for her to go. Dylan smugly asks her if that’s it before he stands up from the couch wondering what he did wrong.
Annie laughs this off saying he didn’t do anything wrong but Dylan approaches asking if she thinks he is trying to have sex with her. Annie is a bit confused and when she turns away Dylan grabs her arm and forcibly turns her to face him again. Annie tries to explain that she likes him but that there is no need to rush things. Dylan seems to get a hold of himself and says that he’s sorry but as he watches her leave the whites of his eyes begins to turn red. As Annie is walking away from the home, a bloodcurdling scream stops her in her tracks. Turning around she sees Dylan through the windows throwing things around his home in a rage.
Annie is at home the next morning where she notices a bruise on her arm left by Dylan the night before. After a pre-work yoga session, Annie is about to get into her car when she looks around notices several different men engaging in angry or frustrated actions. One is violently trying to jab a straw into his soft drink, another is repeatedly slamming his trunk trying to close it, yet another is honking his horn and yelling at her to vacate the parking space.
Annie arrives at her sister house where her nephew Cole (Percy Hynes White) greets her in the drive way. Inside a group is having dinner including Annie’s sister Martha (Rhea Seehorn) and her husband Mike (Ike Barinholtz) as well Annie’s boss Phil (Peter Kelamis) and some other friends. After an odd encounter with a neighbor, the girls go out for drinks.
Annie joins Martha and some friends for a drink at a bar where they notice some men adding bits of the fallen meteorites to their shots resulting in a reddish liquid. One of the other girls notices Dylan in the bar and says that they should invite him to join them, to which Annie quickly shoots down. As they pressure her further she gets up and walks outside.
After she returns inside the bartender is attempting to cut off one of the guys, Zeke (Paul Piaskowski) as he is already really drunk. Zeke protests and then breaks a beer bottle on the bar in anger resulting in Annie trying to get the group to leave. Before they can however Zeke shoves another patron to the floor before a rush of fury takes over him and a bar fight begins. All of the men in the bar instantly become aggressive and start to fight each other and as the birthday group tries to leave Annie notices Dylan fighting in the melee.
As they leave the bar Annie is approached by a man in a leather jacket carrying a motorcycle helmet who introduces himself as Perry from work. Annie seems to be in shock from what she just saw and barley acknowledges the man as she walks to her car. Perry is offended and yells expletive laced insults at her to which she still barely registers. Infuriated Perry’s eyes cloud red.
Driving in the car Annie notices that Perry is following them and Martha begins giving her directions to try and lose him. After a short chase they are able to lose him and Annie lets slip that something happened with Dylan the night before. When Martha presses her further, Annie is unsure of exactly how to explain what happened and just says that he went “f***ing nuts”. They arrive back at Martha’s house and speak for a bit parked in front of the house. Annie theorizes that the meteorites are to blame for the strange behavior going on and they hear the motorcycle approaching. They make it inside where they tell Mike to call the police because a man followed them home. When Mike says he will handle it, they insist he call police but he angrily and loudly repeats himself before going outside.
Annie is looking out the window and watches as Mike walks up to Perry and without saying a word begins to savagely beat him. Annie tells her sister to call 911. Annie is still watching the assault when suddenly we hear a loud thump and then silence as Annie reacts in horror. She makes a rush to the door and locks it, telling Martha that Mike is sick and they need to leave out the back door. They realize the only ones acting differently are the men as Mike bangs on the front door to be let in.
Martha refuses to believe Mike has it and opens the door only to realize that Mike is no longer there. As the sisters look outside for him, they hear him address them from in the house and slowly turn around to see him in a doorway across the room, covered in blood. Mike proudly says that she should have seen him and that it felt real good to let that guy have it. He chugs a glass of contaminated tap water and then notices the uncut birthday cake.
Mike eerily sings happy birthday to his wife while he lights the candles and gets the cutting knife as the sisters look on in horror. Mike demands that she blow out the candles and make a wish, yelling at her to “do it.” After she does, Annie tries to get him to put down the knife by suggesting they wait for Cole but Mike interrupts her saying he never even got a thank you for saving them. He then chastises them for leading a lunatic to his home and that two women drinking alone at a bar are “asking for it”.
Mike is exhibiting an extreme change in behavior that shocks Martha. Annie begins to try and talk him down but this enrages him further and he begins to attack her with the knife. Eventually he gets a hold of her and begins to choke her before Martha hits him on the back of the head with a frying pan twice knocking him out cold.
They head to the docks in search of Cole, witnessing groups of men rioting and causing mayhem. Martha picks up a meteorite in hopes that it will have a similar effect on her but to no avail. They find Cole who was just attacked by his boyfriend who had ingested a meteorite. The group hears someone singing “Hello” and turn around to see Dylan approaching them holding a chain with a softball size chunk of the meteor attached to the end.
Dylan attacks Annie and begins to choke her with the chain before she is able to wrestle free from his grasp. Annie grabs the chain and hits him with the meteorite causing him to fall into the water. Dylan is in the process of being infected by the meteorite but somehow stops it before it happens. They are then taken into quarantine where Cole discusses his experience saying that he was able to stop it simply because he chose to.
CLOSING NARRATION: “Tonight, Annie Miller found herself in the center of a mysterious and violent epidemic. What she encountered was no material disease but rather a plague of conscious. One that gave men permission to ignore decency, consent, and fear. And tonight, all it took was a few innocuous little rocks to turn men into monsters here in the Twilight Zone”
The Twilight Zone is steaming now on CBS All-Access