Welcome back to my Twilight Zone Marathon! I enjoy stories about nightmares, so when I heard about today’s episode, I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m going to take a look at “Twenty Two.”
Liz Powell is a stri- I mean, dancer who’s holed up in a hospital due to being overworked and fatigued. Night after night, she experiences a nightmare involving a loud ticking clock, a glass shattering, and a basement morgue (numbered 22) with a very creepy nurse. She insists it’s all real while her doctor believes it’s nothing more than a nightmare. Is it really all a dream, or could it be something more?
I’ll be honest, while I praised “Five Characters” for having a simple, effective plot, this one felt a bit subpar. The main focus is on the nightmare itself, which isn’t fully unraveled until the ending and subsequent twist. The ending as a whole was my favorite part. The rest of the episode involves various conversations between Liz, the doctor, and sometimes her agent, Barney.
Speaking of the characters, I didn’t connect with Liz at all. I found her a bit shrill, plus she was almost always either crying or screaming. There just wasn’t much to her. Her agent, Barney, also irritated me. He doesn’t feature prominently in the episode and doesn’t do much aside from try to encourage Liz. Their relationship isn’t fully developed, which made him feel a bit pointless. And he’s constantly calling her “kitten,” which, while fitting of the lingo at the time, was repetitive and got old fast.
The other main character is the doctor, who acting-wise I felt did the best. That’s not saying too much, though, as I felt the acting overall was mediocre. The doctor’s major issue was that he came off as unnecessarily creepy at times through his tone and expressions. Still, for such a simple role, he did an okay job.
One problem I had with the story was Liz’s exit from the hospital, which leads into the big ending. We only see her experience the nightmare twice before she’s basically given a clean bill of health. Between her second nightmare and leaving the hospital, we only get a bit of exposition from the doctor wondering how she knew about the morgue’s existence. There is no build-up to her suddenly being allowed to leave, and it came off a little jarring. I suppose it was probably due to time constraints.
As I said before, the ending was my favorite part and ultimately made the episode for me. While I won’t give away what happens, I felt the nightmare was utilized well throughout the story in making you wonder if she’s just fatigued or really experiencing it. She even wonders it as well as the story progresses, which was a good touch.
Overall, this episode is my least favorite so far. It had some decent elements to build up to the ending, but the majority of it felt a bit subpar as far as the acting and characters go. I also feel it wasn’t scary or even all that suspenseful. If nightmares interest you, you might find some enjoyment with this one, though don’t go in expecting anything mind-blowing.