Night Visions – Still Life (08/30/01)

nvstillife3Kate Morris’s alarm goes off at the crack of seven.  Her husband David shuts it off, opting to awaken her by lightly squeezing her nostrils shut. This is the creepiest affectionate gesture since John Travolta — no, the one in Face/Off[1]

Kate seems to like it, though.  Or is at least happy he didn’t murder her. She fixes a fabulous bacon and eggs breakfast for David and their daughter Wendy.  Kate takes a Polaroid of David eating and has a strange reaction to the photo.  Dang if I can figure out why, but then this is another low-quality You Tube video, so maybe I’m missing something.  It is a keeper, though, so she puts it in the world smallest photo album.

After putting Wendy on a respectably-lengthed bus, she turns back to her house and runs into a wall of a man.  He roughs her up, even dragging her by a purse strap around her neck.  When it breaks, he runs off.  The police come, but Kate refuses to go to the hospital.


I hope this lettering is not foreshadowing anything.

The next day at the grocery store, a man is following her, buying each item that she buys.  And from this selection, both of them ought to weigh 300 pounds — a box of crackers, those tasteless crunchy orange Styrofoam sandwich thingies, cookies, and a carb-fest for breakfast. This man also begins roughing her up, saying, “You’re coming with me, Kate.”

She arrives home to find her purse on the lawn.  The first thug has rifled though her it and taken her photos.  Although he did take the time to remove them from the wee album.

Her husband suggests that she go get her hair done to feel better.  Seems like a 1950s thing to say, but is it really wrong?  At the salon, she is able to forget about being attacked by men — this time she is assaulted by a woman.

nvstillife4Her husband suggests that going to a doctor might not be a bad idea. Kate disagrees and begins chopping bell peppers with a ferocity that I think is supposed to have some meaning other than that they’re having stir-fry tonight.  If there is some significance to this, please let me know.

David takes Wendy to a friend’s house for a sleepover more timely than Dana’s in Poltergeist.  Kate gets a call from a man, then a woman who also says “We’re coming to get you Kate, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  Kate tears out in her car and finds the Emergency Broadcast System on every channel.  This drives her mad; also, into a light-pole.

She awakens in an ambulance and sees the men and woman who had attacked her are now the EMTs.  She escapes back to her house, but opening a door, she sees herself in a medical ward with tubes up her noise.  She then occupies her body in the bed.

David and the people who attacked her are all doctors.  She has been in a coma, which is “not the way the warden wants a convicted murderer serving her time.”  She murdered her abusive husband and lost the baby girl she was carrying.  She then hung herself which I guess ties into the purse-strap strangulation.  She begs the doctor who is her husband in the coma to be sent back into the coma where she was happy.

nvstillife6When they refuse, she jabs herself with a syringe, going back to coma-world and her happy family.

The camera pulls back into a nice proscenium shot which again seems to signify nothing.  Then there is a camera shutter click and it turns into a photo.  I guess this ties back to the Polaroid in some way but damn if I can see how.

Like the first segment in this episode, there seem to be many things set up to be significant which never pay off.  I could sit here and try to figure it out, but other people are waiting for the table.


  • [1] There is plenty to mock about Face/Off.  But just looking at the cover, shouldn’t they have at least made the eye colors the same for Cage & Travolta?
  • From the writer of Rest Stop and After Life.  Then a Farscape episode, and she was done.
  • Wendy was just a kid here, but in 10 years, yowza!

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