Outer Limits – Glyphic (03/20/98)

Dr. Boussard sends his kids Cassie and Louis out to play while he goes to deliver a baby.  He passes a deputy painting the new population number (Pop. 103) on the Welcome to Tolomey [1] sign and makes a pretty good joke about delivering twins.

The kids hear voices and follow them into one of those TV caves that have a cleaner, flatter floor than the Bat-Cave.  Cassie sees a glowing device embedded in the rock.  She puts her hand on it and it emits a green light which blankets the entire town, which is a neat trick since it is coming from a hole in the ground.

Ten years later, Tom Young of the Dept. of Health & Human Services comes to Tolomey (now Pop. 63) and he’s here to help.  He is yet another therapist coming to see if he can help Cassie’s learning disability.  She is better off than her brother Louie who has been in a coma for 12 years.

Tom hypnotizes Cassie back to her 6 year old self.  She says her disability is because she is different than the other kids due to something she heard.  She doesn’t know what it was despite a flashback that seems to indicate her reliving the incident in detail.

Tom asks what happened in Tolomey.  Because the death of 40 kids would not have made the news, Dr. Broussard tells him about the strange brain cancer that hit the community 12 years earlier which only killed the children.

The CDC came in and claimed it was run-off from the mill that caused the deaths, so the govern-ment shut down the mill and killed the local economy.  Now, I’m having a flashback.  They did name the disease after Tolomey, though; so they got that going for them.

While looking at the machines keeping Louis alive, Cassie begins hearing the voices again.  She steals some of Louis’s medicine and, per the voices, mixes a cocktail. She takes it to the cave and is zapped by a green light from the object.  She begins speaking alien until a local hick shoots the object, shutting it down.  Cassie takes the vial back home and pours it in Louis’s mouth.  The grown-ups stop her and drag her away screaming, to have brain surgery.

Hmmmm, for some reason I’m skeptical about that bottom box.  I have a blind faith in that top one, though.

Tom suggests that maybe the alien device was trying to transform Cassie into a living translator.  Louis shocks everyone by waking up.  Tom calls the hospital to stop the surgery.  When they start lasering into Cassie’s brain, she kicks the doctor away.  She grabs a marker and begins writing on her arm.  There are some alien symbols, then “We offer knowledge.  Learn to ask.”  The surgeon says she is not dead, but they visually imply she is.

The government shows up to analyze the device, but Jethro seems to have broken it.  So, once again, we have an alien species that has experienced an individual act of violence by a human, and responded by condemning the earth to be destroyed (or in this case, missing out on all sorts of life-saving knowledge).

These aliens are always so bloody arrogant.  They send a device with no instruction manual, bury it in a cave, murder nearly all the children in the town, then get pissy when some yahoo takes a shot.

Some good performances here.

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