WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Twilight Zone, Episode 9: "The Blue Scorpion."
The Twilight Zone reboot hasn't been shy at all when it comes to making huge sociopolitical statements. It recently took shots at the current United States president and also sounded off against toxic masculinity, capitalizing on an era where people are more socially conscious, "woke" and vocal about such issues.
In "The Blue Scorpion," the show now takes aim at the topic of gun control, and it's one of the most haunting stories crafted this season.
This episode focuses on Jeff (Chris O'Dowd), who finds his father dead thanks to a bullet wound to the head. It turns out the gun he used to commit suicide, which the cops now return to Jeff, is called the Blue Scorpion. It's a mysterious firearm with Cuban origins and numerous buyers looking to purchase it, but Jeff discovers you don't find the gun -- it finds you.
Sadly, his life plunges further into a downward spiral as his wife, Anne (Amy Landecker), who left him for another man named Jeff, is now seeking half of his estate. His job as a professor isn't going well either. So, Jeff starts abusing alcohol. His story takes a ghastly swerve when he discovers the Scorpion has one bullet, with his name eerily etched in it. Shockingly, Jeff tries to get rid of the weapon, but it shows up at home, literally haunting him. He attempts to shoot the bullet away but to no avail, cornering him into a very scary situation.
The gun even fires on its own when Jeff contemplates the best way to hide it away, made all the more difficult as it doesn't like the dark and, no matter where Jeff leaves it, it finds a way back home. Living in fear, Jeff treats the weapon as if it's a psychopath who needs tender love and care. But as the supernatural entity begins to take control and corrupt Jeff's life even more, his paranoia and distrust starts to border on violent as he's reduced to a desperate shell, considering killing his wife and her lover. Oddly enough, as he starts running into other guys named Jeff, he also ponders killing himself like his dad before he does something he'll regret.
Ultimately, just as he sits outside his wife's home, a home invader tries to rob him in his car, causing the weapon to go off on its own, shooting the robber named -- you guessed it -- Jeff. His wife ends up thanking him for "saving" them by dropping the 50/50 deal and his school promotes him for heroism. Still, Jeff can't help but fell the gun almost turned him into a vengeful killer. It's here the series really illustrates what guns mean for the everyday person in the real world -- it empowers them to think they do have a right to pull the trigger.
Owing a firearm provides the option to walk over to the dark side, and really comes off as an unnecessary tool if you're not a cop. Jeff accepts it shouldn't be in the hands of an ordinary citizen and, seeing as it's finished with him, he throws it into a lake, only for it to wash up days later when two boys are playing on the shore. One of the boys takes it up, calling out to his friend Kyle, and ironically, we witness a bullet now with Kyle's name on it (which only he'll be able to see).
This scene clearly foreshadows a tragedy to come via an accidental shooting, reminding us what happens when such weapons gets into kids' hands. Like it or not, as Jeff realized, it's a cursed object begging us to use it, even if to nonchalantly visit and shoot at the range. When the smoke clears, The Twilight Zone's stance is that, even though we, like Jeff, might love the feel of a pistol grip in our hand, there's a high probability someone's toxic attitude will result in a bang that really doesn't do society any good at all.
The Twilight Zone airs every Thursday on CBS All Access.