Eve Martin seems like she has the perfect life. She’s wealthy, has a great family and a beautiful home, and she doesn’t ever have to lift a finger thanks to her housekeeper Anna Fuentes. But when immigration comes to collect Anna, Eve‘s life is turned upside down in more ways than one. The coveted existence Eve once had will be overturned. No longer will she bask in the lap-of-luxury and unearned entitlement. Instead, Eve‘s own status will be called into question as she’s relocated to The Twilight Zone.
In “Point of Origin,” affluent housewife and mother Eve Martin (Ginnifer Goodwin) is approached by her housekeeper and nanny Anna Fuentes (Zabryna Guevara) for a favor—her grandchild wants to attend a charter school in Eve‘s district. But to do so, Anna‘s family would need to use the Martins‘ address. Eve happily obliges as she considers Anna family. The doorbell then rings. Seeing who’s on the other side thanks to her surveillance phone app, Eve tries to stop Anna from opening the door. It’s too late, though. A band of immigration agents storm in and seize Fuentes because of her immigration status. Eve stands helplessly as Anna is dragged away from the house.
At a lunch date with some of her friends, Eve embellishes the details of the ordeal. She claims to have told the immigration officers, “You cannot walk into my house and do this,” but alas, she did nothing of the sort. Nonetheless, Eve is worried about Anna even if her friends have little sympathy for undocumented citizens.
With Anna gone, Eve has to handle the chores herself; although buying groceries is fruitless when both her cards are denied at the checkout. So when Eve tries to flee the scene with her two daughters, they are all commandeered by a black SUV full of government agents. At a detainment facility, Eve believes this is all a consequence of letting Anna use their address for the charter school application. Her interviewer, a man named Allendale (James Frain), confirms that that isn’t why the Martins were brought in. He eventually releases Eve‘s husband William (Toby Levins) and their daughters, but he insists Eve stays for further evaluation.
In the meantime, Eve is thrown into an open area full of other detained citizens. One of whom is Anna, who somehow isn’t all that surprised to see her former employer there. Their reunion becomes a sobering one as Eve shows just how little she knows about someone she claims to be family—she has no idea where Anna originates from nor does she know the names of her children.
Eve‘s ignorance notwithstanding, Anna leads her to another detainee, Aidia (Karin Konoval), who may be of some help. She has insight on Eve‘s problem at hand, but none of this information is landing with her. The guards then intervene and take Eve in for an invasive interrogation. She’s strapped to an apparatus that records her biometric response to alien stimuli. Allendale reveals that interdimensional pilgrims infiltrated this world as far back as thirty years ago, and they suspect Eve is one of these “immigrants.” In light of this revelation, will Eve find a way to escape her circumstances? Or must she accept that she’s now a resident in The Twilight Zone?
Compared to the weaker entries in the season so far, “Point of Origin” is a marginal step up. However, the A and B plots within feel like they’re competing with one another rather than coalescing into one solid story. The theme here is of course immigration, and writer John Griffin and director Mathias Herndl are assertive in how they address it. Do they pull it off? For the most part, yes. It’s neither organic or wedged in, but it works.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the intrinsic social messages in the modern Twilight Zone are sometimes so overbearing that there’s little room for actual storytelling. The series shouldn’t be carefree and without depth, but is it too much to ask for the writers to focus more on making episodes where social commentary is part of the story rather than the crux? Because the truth is, Eve Martin‘s alien origin alone is fascinating enough to fill a whole episode as well as convey the show’s thoughts on immigration. All in all, “Point of Origin” may be the first installment in Jordan Peele’s reboot that feels the most like the classic Twilight Zone.
Like in previous episodes, “Point of Origin” has some easter eggs!
- The Matheson Charter School is a nod to Richard Matheson, the prolific genre writer whose works were often adapted in the original Twilight Zone.
- James Frain’s character Allendale could be named after Richard Matheson’s hometown of Allendale, New Jersey.
- The Mr. Dingle’s Ice Cream truck is a reference to the 1961 episode “Mr. Dingle, the Strong.”
- Eve‘s credit card is issued by Max Phillips Financial Services. Max Phillips is the name of a character in the episode “In Praise of Pip.”
- The gremlin from “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is peeking through the curtains of the daughters’ dollhouse.
- The logo of the Frosted Kanamunch brand cereal is a reference to the Kanamit aliens from “To Serve Man.”