I remember seeing this episode as a kid for the first time and being confused by the parents reactions, the whole thing is on youtube BTW.
The twist is that the too intelligent fail the test and are exterminated.
But why aside from the fact their son is about to face a life or death trial alone were the parents always shooting anxious knowing glances at each other?
1.They fear their son is GASP intelligent, omg think of what the neighbors will say when it comes out! A damn dirty thinker!
2.They fear their son is so intelligent he will almost certainly fail and be killed.
3.They are themselves so stupid they don’t know their son’s abilities and what the test is even about.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why they didn’t try to give their son hints, like to intentionally fail, if they knew what was coming and knew he wouldn’t pass. There was a drug truth serum but still.
That was the point in both the episode and the original story: the parents were afraid their child would be killed. The story was written so the reader assumed that something bad would happen if he wasn’t smart enough; the twist was that it was the opposite.
Yeah, I haven’t even seen the episode but based on your synopsis it seems pretty obvious that they’re afraid their son will die. Why would “What would the neighbors think?” even enter your mind as a possibility?
Yea but parents have a pretty good grasp on their kid’s abilities, so you’d think the mind er constriction program would have started sooner. You can’t honestly answer HIV is a virus if you don’t know it.
No, if that were the case, the entire episode would have been pointless, just with a slightly surprising ending. They knew their kid was smart, even encouraged him to lose a few IQ points by watching TV. But I have to wonder how smart the parents themselves were. Had the test been given back when they were kids? If so, they obviously passed it.
I hate to point out the obvious but this was a TV show. They had to circumvent the subject so there would be a story. If the parents had said, “Son, don’t do well on this test because the government will kill you if you’re too smart” there wouldn’t have been much of a surprise ending thirty minutes later.
The TV episode is more like ten minutes long (or possibly less), and the original story less tha 2000 words.
It also comes from the assumption that IQ test really did measure ability.
But the point is creating the belief in the reader/viewer that the boy will suffer dire consequences if he fails. Once the intelligence test is introduced, it leads you to assume that means he’ll fail if his intelligence is too low. That’s storytelling skill - knowing how your readers will react so that you can surprise them with a twist that’s a complete surprise, but also obvious once it happens.