In the final episode of The Twilight Zone season 2, “You Might Also Like”, a woman believes making a purchase will bring her happiness.
In the finale of The Twilight Zone season, episode 10, titled “You Might Like”, consumerism is examined with a critical gaze. The episode focuses on Janet (Gretchen Mol), a woman that appears to have led a charmed life up until she went through the tragedy of losing a stillborn baby. Shaken by the experience, Janet no longer relates to a society which preaches the idea that buying something new will ease the pain she’s feeling. That becomes a problem when everyone she knows, everyone but her, seems to be enticed by a new egg which is about to be released. Apparently, it will make everything okay again. Forever. Janet has another, more pressing issue though: she suffers blackouts, collapsing into a brief sleep upon hearing certain sounds.
Unable to rationalize the repeated occurrence of waking up in her bed, with time missing, she determinedly sets out to figure out what’s been happening to her. She hopes to discover the truth before her ‘hour of fulfillment’, when she’s scheduled to receive her mysterious egg. Janet eventually discovers that her blackouts are being caused by aliens, specifically The Kanamits from the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.” They’re back, and they are the masterminds behind the luxury eggs that everyone wants to own. The eggs, unfortunately for humanity, are murderous creatures that will devour their owners the first chance they get.
The message of “You Might Also Like”, which is written and directed by Osgood Perkins, is evident in its title. It’s a reference to how Amazon and other online shopping sites try to grab potential buyers by displaying products similar to ones they’ve enjoyed in the past. The episode, on the whole, is a condemnation of the idea that consumerism helps anything, let alone offers meaningful happiness. Janet’s struggles run deep. She lost her baby. Her family, including her husband and children, don’t seem as close to her or each other as they once might have been. Beyond all of this, she’s questioning the validity of everything around her. It hardly seems like an egg will fulfill her, in spite of its advertising. In the heightened world of The Twilight Zone, it will actually kill her. Janet isn’t the only one who suffers from these delusions, though. For most of the episode, she even seems to be fighting against it. Her resistance to advertising may have even caused her blackouts.
This is in contrast to her neighbor, Mrs. Jones. Portrayed by Greta Lee, who played the scene-stealing best friend Maxine in Netflix’s Russian Doll, Mrs. Jones doesn’t have the slightest desire to question anything. She wants the egg because everyone else will have it. When Janet tries to emphasize with Mrs. Jones and warn her about the egg, the attempt ends with Mrs. Jones running away and screaming. “We do not have the same problems!” She yells, after escaping Janet’s clutches. The implication, of course, is that they do. Everyone feels the kind of emptiness that Janet does, at least sometimes, but Janet is the only one willing to admit it out loud. Janet is the only one willing to entertain the notion that the egg, the stand-in for consumerism, won’t fix anything.
Janet is revealed to have her limits, however. Near the end of “You Might Also Like”, Janet learns the truth from the aliens themselves. They devised the egg, because they realized advertising and subliminal messaging was an easy way to decimate the human race. They’re proven right. The closing moments for the episode, and for the season as a whole, lingers on the result of the customers having received their eggs at the shopping mall.
Some are screaming because they’re being eaten by vicious creatures. Others are smiling, though they must know they’ll soon be killed as well. Janet is among the crowd, deciding to buy the egg because it might make her happy for a little while. The Twilight Zone season 2 concludes by exploring the extent to which humans are problematically tethered to their purchases.
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