Welcome back to my Twilight Zone Marathon! Masks are an interesting piece of clothing. Some express emotion while others are meant to invoke emotion. Today’s episode uses masks as symbols of emotion. Let’s check out “The Masks.”
Jason Foster is a rich, retired old man who is near death. But before he dies, he has a few words for his greedy family and invites them to his mansion during Mardi Gras. He gets everyone to put on a mask, including himself, to properly condone their past behaviors. Will Jason live to see another day, or will he die knowing his needs are fulfilled?
The plot of this one is basically revenge. Jason is on the brink of death and wants to punish his horrible family before he dies. I’m usually only interested in revenge plots if they’re done right, and while simplistic, this was one of them. Despite knowing the twist ending, I liked this one for its examination of people through words.
The family consists of Emily, Jason’s daughter, her husband Wilfred, son Wilfred Jr. and daughter Paula. They are all awful people from the beginning, only out to get Jason’s fortune for their own needs. Paula is pretty but vain, Wilfred Jr. is a dumb jock, Wilfred Sr. is a greedy businessman and Emily only cares about her own misfortunes. The best part about these characters was the verbal beatdown they get courtesy of Jason.
Jason was my favorite character in this, and not just because he was the nicest. Besides all of them being well-acted, Jason came out on top for his snideness toward his family. He knows they want his fortune and takes pleasure in tearing each of them down and exposing their faults. This was also the only episode so far to make me actually chuckle a few times because of how biting his words were toward them.
The use of the masks aided that, as they were all meant to represent the bad aspects of each character except Jason, whose mask represented Death due to his illness. I thought they were very effective even though not much time is spent on them being worn. The twist ending served as great karma for the family and left me feeling satisfied.
I don’t have much else to say about this one. It was a simplistic episode in execution, but I feel that worked in its favor. It just FELT like a solid episode to me, and I would consider it one of my favorites of the more “subtle” ones. If you like masks and/or symbolism using them, or if you enjoy a bizarre revenge plot, check out “The Masks.”