Welcome To The Heavy Spoilers Show, I’m Your Host Deffinition, this is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between not seeing the show and seeing it, it’s the channel where we explain it so you don’t have to. This is The Twilight Zone.
The show has just dropped it’s seventh episode and Not All Men has a lot to unpack from it. This is obviously the most heavily steeped in social commentary in not only the season’s lineup but also probably the show’s history.
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the episode and it’s ending as well as what I took from it. I feel like I have to add a disclaimer to this one that I am a white man so yeah…you may wanna take my opinion on this episode with a pinch of salt but….I’m kinda interested what other people think about this episode too as I can see it rubbing a lot of people the wrong way especially with how the show has been so far.
Anyway, this is full spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen it yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way, thanks for clicking the article and let’s dive into my ending explained breakdown of Not All Men.
The Twilight Zone: Not All Men Recap
The episode opens with Annie being asked out by her supervisor who won’t take no for an answer. Annie is eager to please everyone at her new job and he insists that she goes out with him. Whilst she initially turns him down she eventually agrees to go on a date and if that wasn’t pretty heavy-handed, wait till we get into the rest of the episode.
What this episode depicts is a world where men constantly hit on women and harass them. Depending on what life experience you have this is either something that you’ve seen before or have heard of through numerous news reports on sexual harassment and so on.
After a strange meteor shower in the area, all of the men in the town begin acting aggressively towards women and this carries over to Annie’s date, who though initially receptive to her coworker’s advances decides to turn him down. He starts almost forcing himself upon her and after she rejects him and things heat up with him vandalising his own apartment. Her life becomes awkward at work and the bruises caused by the event stay with her longer than would be deemed normal.
This is obviously a metaphor for how advances like this can stay with women for long periods of time and that men’s actions have everlasting effects. Annie becomes frightened of men around her and it becomes transparent that the actions of Dylan have had a deep effect on her.
Does The Subtext Work?
Whilst I don’t really have a problem with this stance on sexual harassment and so on it’s very clear that the episode has an agenda against all men with everyone in the episode being demonised.
Even characters like Martha and Mike who on the surface seem like they have the perfect marriage still fall judgment to Peele’s viewpoint with Mike boasting that he wakes and almost patting himself on the back stating ‘there’s still some good men out there.’ He eventually too becomes violent and this showcases that deep down all men have the potential for this.
Their son even tries to flirt Annie and tries to come off like a good guy to her. It’s difficult for me at least to not roll my eyes as to how heavy handed some of the messages in this episode are and I think the main problem that I have with this iteration is that it deals purely in blanket statements.
Everything seems to be very black and white and whilst that symbolically is in the sign, that doesn’t mean that it has to transfer into the episodes. There is just no balance for me and both men and women are victims of sexual harassment so rather than tackling the issue as personality traits that can be corrected it pitches the idea that all men are inherently like this which is plain wrong.
Anyway, at a dinner party, Annie feels pressured by her boss into working with Dylan some more and Annie confesses to her friend Martha about the date. Martha rebutts this with “I’ve been on a million bad dates, just like everybody, right?” which to me showcases that Peele’s view of society is that we do not even punish forceful behaviors because it’s deemed acceptable.
Me Too Exists
This just isn’t the case anymore with many allegations leading to public shaming and such. Perhaps if this episode had been released ten years ago it would have felt more relevant but in today’s society, it feels very behind the times.
Anyway, after the dinner party, we learn that all of the men within the town are acting out their darkest desires. This, of course, puts the females in the firing line and Annie and Martha have to fight to survive in the new social climate that can be viewed as a metaphor for society as a whole.
I think it is dangerous to completely wash all men as violent murders deep down and just…yeah…I understand it’s difficult to discuss myself as a man as there will be hundreds of counter-arguments but, I’m sure most will agree that this isn’t the case. Not all men are violent, not all police are racist, not all Twilight Zone episodes are good.
Anyway, eventually, they diagnose that it is the meteor that is causing the problem with the men and that there has to be another explanation for this entire thing.
The Twilight Zone: Not All Men: Ending Explained
However, this turns out to be wrong and it turns out that the meteor hasn’t actually been doing anything and men are just being men. To me this is ridiculous and if this was the case then why has it taken society this long to devolve into a place where murder is commonplace.
Eventually, Cole, Martha’s son shows that men are able to control themselves and he fights back but this still to me signifies that they are stating that men are the problem rather than a society that governs them.
The big twist reveal that men were just acting of their own free will in order to be violent and that the cure ‘will always be inside them’ because men can choose to be good is pretty on the nose. Fair enough if you liked this episode but it’s about as subtle as a Slipknot concert. In the end, Annie stands up for herself when being berated by a man and this signifies the MeToo movement finally standing up for themselves.
Overall the episode is far too heavy-handed for me to enjoy, I get it, men are bad but this is just another example of the Twilight Zone taking a cool idea and handling it badly. There are ways to do this with subtly and grace but unfortunately, this falls flat for me due to the lack of grace and twist that I just simply cannot agree with.
As I’ve said numerous times I am a white man so I will always have bias towards things like this and I of course would love to see a balanced viewpoint on my videos. If you agree or disagree with me I’d love to hear it and I’m always open to people telling me I’m wrong.
Or I’m just saying that because I’m pretending to be a good guy.
Anyway, Comment below and let me know!