There is a real X-Files vibe in the opening seconds of this episode. The music and lab setting could easily have been from that series. The sense of déjà vu was heightened when I saw Charles Martin Smith who had played a similar role (in profession and haz-mat bunny suit) in the F. Emasculata episode of The X-Files.
In the Outer Limits episode, he plays Dr. Spencer Deighton, a researcher who comes up with a cure-all wonder drug that could eradicate all disease. His brother Michael the CEO-wannabe and villain of the piece, actually has a legitimate point: what if this drug mutated into the rodent or insect population? Even in the human population, with all those extra mouths to feed, it could result in the deaths of millions by starvation. Now, that would have been a great story, but maybe too big for a TV episode.
Unfortunately, Michael undermines his cogent points by stating that the drug could “cut the world death rate by 1000%“. And this guy wants to be my CEO? Not even my latex salesman.
The acting-CEO agrees and Spencer’s research is shut down. Lab assistant Carl disagrees and injects himself with the drug. Unfortunately he is observed by Michael who runs a decontamination procedure which incinerates him. Again, good call. Are they sure this is the bad guy?
Finally we get to Michael’s dark side. He is not against production of the wonder drug. He just wants to restrict access to the super rich; and certain CEO-wannabees, given the way his hand is shaking.
It turns out that he has concealed the fact that he has inherited the Huntington’s disease that killed his mother. He feels that the negative-nellies on the board might consider his imminent death a disqualifier for the CEO position. Whereas his poor math skills and general douchebaggery will not be an issue.
He discovers that Carl leaked news of the drug to Spencer’s reporter girlfriend Tricia played by Ellen Tighe. Michael pays her a visit and inexplicably douses her with the wonder drug. He then takes a dose himself. And sure enough, it makes his hand as steady as the Waco Kid’s (no, the other hand).
Back at the lab, the monkey that was was being used to test the wonder drug is in pretty bad shape. Michael reveals to Spencer that he has taken the drug. It also apparently fixed his eyesight as he is not wearing glasses. Spencer will not join Michael, so it is time for another decontamination.
Spencer escapes and Michael quickly begins withering, begging to be killed. Turns out the wonder drug burns out the host’s normal resistance and leaves them defenseless. So in trying to cure his Huntington’s, Michael actually hastened its effects. Oh the irony.
A fairly somber affair. Well-performed, but not a lot else to recommend it. I give it 5 out of 10 cc’s.
- So Michael tries to kill Ellen Tighe by dousing her with a drug that causes immortality? What am I missing here? I appreciate that they take the time to explain why it did not kill her like it eventually kills Michael, but what was his goal?
- OK, maybe it was the early-stage strain of the wonder drug. But wasn’t all of that destroyed? And it had an 80% mortality rate. Maybe a tad high for public consumption, but not quite high enough to use as a murder weapon when you were face-to-face with your victim.
- Probably it could be explained by reviewing the episode, but Hulu is absolutely fascist at making you rewatch commercials as you try to review the program. And do they have to be the same commercials? Although, that IHOP commercial does look pretty delicious.
- And another thing: When they put up a 2 minute commercial, NEVER click the button that says “YES – this ad is relevant to me.”
- Michael also was not wearing glasses in the opening nightmare that Spencer had. Premonition? Maybe, but not really as Ellen Tighe wasn’t present in the nightmare.
- Clearly it was not the good Huntington’s.