“Try, Try” finds a new angle from which to approach the played-out time-loop conceit, but the execution is off in a disappointing penultimate episode.
This recap of The Twilight Zone season 2, episode 9, “Try, Try”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Check out our full spoiler-free season review.
In its penultimate episode, The Twilight Zone season 2 tries to turn the classic Groundhog Day time-loop conceit on its head, reframing it as the secret weapon of a creepy stalker who has spent years reliving the same day with a woman he has fallen in love with. It’s a fine idea, but like most of the ones this season has had, the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
“Try, Try” is enigmatic at first, introducing us first to Claudia and then to her ostensible savior, Marc. Both bond over various pretentious things while claiming not to be pretentious. They roam a museum in that awkward getting-to-know-you meet-cute way. But The Twilight Zone season 2, episode 9 quickly shows its hand. Marc starts reeling off very specific quotes that Claudia also enjoys. He finishes her sentences. Before long, she realizes something’s up.
This stuff would work better, I think, if these two had any chemistry, which they don’t. It might be said that’s intentional; a way to position Marc as someone who is trying to force himself on this woman he has come to know intimately yet who still considers him a complete stranger. His dark secret reinforces this; doomed to repeat the same day again and again, he has not only fallen for Claudia but devoted himself to creating a perfect date with her, violating the typical process of getting to know someone. But those early moments of their first interactions needed a little bit more spark to convince us to care about what happens to either of them.
Since we don’t care, it’s a fairly rote development when Marc, stung by rejection yet again, goes a bit bonkers and gets aggressive. And it’s entirely perfunctory when Claudia resolves the matter by just repeatedly punching him to the ground. There’s a case to be made that this is upending the typical dynamic, giving agency to a potential victim before they even have a chance to become one. But both characters are so two-dimensional that it never really takes.
The low-key ending of The Twilight Zone season 2, episode 9 is Marc, beginning the day again, deciding not to pursue Claudia. I guess he values his snout too much. But… wasn’t he supposed to be obsessed with her? He got over that quickly.
These niggling questions undermine an already disappointing episode. This second half of The Twilight Zone season 2 has proved consistently disappointing.
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2 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone season 2, episode 9 recap – “Try, Try””
jons obvi a stalker
This episode sheds light on the toxic nature of the “nice guy.” As a woman, I found this episode to be powerful, disturbing. Take out the time loop element, and this is a story just about every living woman has experienced. The toxic nice guy is the guy who sees you struggling to get your groceries out of your car and runs over to help. He feigns helpfulness and passivity. He just wants to be a “nice guy.” Until he decides that, because he was once “nice” to you, you now owe him for his pleasantry. Then his attitude changes, and you learn that the nice guy isn’t nice after all, and he changes into the aggressive guy who doesn’t understand why you can’t just “give him what you owe him.” And then he takes it. The “nice guy.” This wasn’t a sci-fi episode, this was a study in male toxicity. Marc isn’t obsessed with her. He’s obsessed with getting what he’s owed for seemingly saving her life (in his perspective) at the beginning. He just wants what he views as his. Gross. I would take the “a**hole” (who our nice guy protagonist references early on in the episode) over the “nice guy” any day.