Night Visions – If a Tree Falls . . . (08/09/01)

OK, this should be interesting.  And by “interesting” I mean not interesting.  Due to copyright issues, I’m watching this episode like a silent movie.  And I mean really silent, not even a peppy piano score.

nvifatree1A car containing a young couple and a 3rd wheel dude in a wacky backward cap is driving along a lakeside road.  The guy driving has an earring, so backward hat guy is in the unusual situation of not being the biggest douche in the group.

The car hits a rock and they do a Thelma & Louise off the bank into the lake.  Luckily no one was Kopechned, so their response is mostly laughing and splashing each other. The horseplay ends, however, when they have a hallucination of the car going down with them still in it.

nvifatree7Walking back along the road, Backward Hat Guy and The Girl dive out of the way of a truck.  Earring Guy just stands in the road and the truck swerves around him.  They pick themselves up and continue walking.  They are apparently discussing the accident since there are a couple of flashbacks of the sinking car.

Then they are walking around a school.  Some priests are lighting candles, and Earring Guy shows up and gives a confession.  We get a visual of the car resting on the bottom of the lake with the three people still in it.  The Girl and Backward Hat Guy are running across the campus when they suddenly vanish.  As each of them disappear, they seem to re-inhabit their bodies in the submerged car.  This is evidenced by a blink rather than them reacting, “Oh shit, I’m going to drown!” and swimming to the surface.  While Earring Guy is still confessing, The Girl and Backward Hat guy reappear on the lawn, puking up water.

Like Ted Kennedy, Earring Guy only returns to the submerged car the next day. Unlike the senator, he dives down and tries to open the door.  The Girl and Backward Hat Guy show up as he is still under water peeling back the convertible top.  He manages to extract his friends’ bodies, but his body remains buckled-in as the car slips down into a crevasse.

nvifatree8He sees his friends on the dock disappear once again.  He screams “It was supposed to be me!”  Hey, I’m a lip reader!

As the paramedics are hauling the bodies away, we get a close-up of an eye which is shedding a tear of blood — nice shot, but I have no idea who it is supposed to be.  We have just seen all six of their eyes, and no blood-tears.  Live Earring Guy is holding a rose, which he drops in the water.  It sinks past Dead Earring Guy still in the car.

So why is Earring Guy still alive?  It might have made sense if he was not also still in the submerged car.  But this perplexes me — Backward Hat Guy and The Girl faded away or re-entered their corpses.  On the other hand, there are now two Earring Guys. What happens when they haul that car up?  Even Candace Hilligoss had the good manners to rendezvous with her dead body.

Granted, I’m working only from the visuals, but I just can’t combine these elements into a plausible story.  It would have made far more sense to have Earring Guy holding the rose, then fade away, and then the rose drops into the water sinking past his bloated corpse.


  • Title Analysis:  Just speculation and maybe giving the producers too much credit. Backward Hat Guy and The Girl permanently rejoin with their dead bodies only after their dead bodies are witnessed by a fisherman.  So like the proverbial tree falling in the forest . . . are they really dead if no one sees them?
  • Point For:  Earring Guy does not rejoin his dead body because the fisherman did not see his corpse.
  • Point Against:  If they are dead, why do they seem to have corporeal bodies?  The driver sees them clearly enough to swerve, Earring Guy confesses to the priest, and the other two are dodged by people in the school hallway.
  • Point Break:  What I should have watched instead.

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