Has anyone here ever seen the Twilight Zone episode “The Howling Man”? No? Do you remember anything about The Fountain? No? Good, then this will all be new for you…
I submit for your approval, Human Nature
We open with a monologue from main character Michael, he sounds disgruntled and a little crazy. Something along the lines of, “I’ve been chasing him for years, decades, centuries. I’ve been chasing him as long as time itself has existed. Civilizations have grown and collapsed, and I’ve seen it all happen. Anyone I ever grew to care about has died, so I’ve learned to care about no person and only my mission. There is nothing more important to me than to rid this world of all of its impurities and capture the devil.”
We begin in ancient Rome, we see Michael walking around the city. He sees a man speaking about the gods and calling for the people to build monuments to them. Michael laughs and continues on. He comes upon a stoning that is about to take place. Michael stops the stoning from happening for a moment, but the man from before is able to persuade the people to continue. They share a glance and continue on.
We move to a war pillaged town in Poland during WWII. Michael is seen helping people, and hiding them. When soldiers come by he is able to convince them to continue moving on in almost a “these are not the droids you’re looking for” manner. We see that he has a family here as well, who he must protect from the SS. Soldiers come and go, but none ever stay long enough to make a difference thanks to Michael. However, on this particular day he has a bad feeling in his stomach. He can see a caravan of military coming towards the town. He scurries to hide everyone and make sure that no one they might be looking for is around. The caravan arrives and out of it steps the silver-tongued man from Rome.
Far in the future we see civilization on another planet, alien and human alike all sharing the same space in harmony. We see Michael at the top of a mountain in a monkish robe, long beard and he looks very tired. There is a man crying in the background, but we see nothing. He has a zen garden that he spends a lot of time in. He practices karate, boxing, etc. He has a solitary life with the exception of the man crying in the background. There is a chess board set up as well, he makes a move and continues about his day. After some more of his daily routine he arrives back at the chess board, the opposing side has already moved, and makes his next move.
In Rome we see Michael trying to convince people the gods aren’t to be feared, and tries to show people a monotheistic society isn’t too far-fetched. People seem to be on board with him, nodding and such. The man from before walks over slowly clapping and gives a speech in the tone that you would expect an old southern lawyer to give a speech. The man is able to convince the crowd that Michael must be stoned to death for even considering monotheism. The crowd turns on Michael and captures him.
In Poland we see Michael talking to the man as the walk down a dirt path. The man tells Michael, “just tell me where they are. I can send the other soldiers back and I’ll take care of this place myself. I promise no harm will come, it’s just was needs to be done.” Michael agrees, the soldiers are sent away and Michael takes the man to a cabin. He tells the man to look under the floorboard, and as the man lifts it up he is kicked into the cell that is under there. Michael quickly closes the door on top of him and traps him inside.
In the future we see Michael looking out onto the world, rainbows in full bloom for what seems to be no apparent reason. There is a knock at his door. He goes and sees a woman, one who looks like his wife from the past standing there. A man can be heard crying in the background.
In Rome we see Michael tied up and a crowd has formed around him. Each person holding a stone bigger than the last persons. Michael says, “Let he who is without…” at which point he is hit in the head with a huge rock by the man whom he has been chasing this whole time. The rest of the crowd follows.
In Poland, we see Michael and his family, with a man crying underneath the floor. He tells them that the man underneath is a bad man, the one who had come to take them away, and is also a Nazi but that goes without saying really. His family lives with it for a while, but one night his wife just cannot take it anymore. The man convinces her through rhetoric to let him out. She opens the trap door. The next morning Michael awakes to find his wife dead on the ground, his children slaughtered and tanks rolling up on the town. The man is humming Ride of the Valkyries in one of the tanks. There’s a lot of slow motion of explosions and such, intermingled with shots of Michael getting stoned. There is a pile of dead bodies, with Michael’s on top in Poland.
Back in Rome Michael’s body is thrown on a pile with others. The man comes over to him and says, “it’s nothing personal, you understand.” Michael who appears dead is not, and looks at the man. “Not yet,” Michael responds.
In Poland the man walks over to the pile and see’s Michael and chuckles. “How about now,” the man says as he walks away.
In the future we see that Michael is still in the middle of the monologue he was telling at the start, but he is telling it to the woman who was knocking. He claims that the peace and prosperity that the world and universe has enjoyed over the last few decades is because of him and because the man who is crying is safely locked away. It starts to rain heavily. Michael tries to stay awake but the crying doesn’t bother him like it used to. He falls asleep in his chair next to the woman who is unable to sleep. The man cries out to her and she goes to him. The man tells her that he is mad and that she needs to let him out, that he has a wife and child who must be worried sick about him. She unlocked the door, and we can see that chess set that Michael was playing earlier. It’s a check mate and Michael just lost.