There, now we can continue like civilized adults. Professor Stanley Hurst is grading papers when he notices something strange going on with the moon; it is far too bright. He tries to make a phone call, but is told all long distance circuits are down.
He makes a call to the owner of the local book store, somehow thinking she might have more insight into this phenomena than he does as a professor of physics. He explains that her store has the largest astronomy section in the town. Amazingly, this has not qualified her to render an opinion.
He notices that the TV has gone to static when he gets a visit from his neighbor Henry. He reasonably suggests that the super-bright moon implies that something has happened with the sun. For a professor of physics, Stanley is fairly dense not to have thought of this immediately.
Stanley is taking it pretty well. He calculates that they have about 5 hours before the shock-wave makes it to them. Henry goes home to pray, because that will make everything OK.
Leslie, the bookstore owner, calls Stanley to thank him for waking her to see the moon. With hours to live, he does the reasonable thing and turns it into a booty call, even though she ain’t no Meg Ryan. He goes to her place, and they go for a walk in the bright moonlight.
Stanley asks Leslie to marry him, and she says yes. They go window-shopping for a ring. He tosses a trash can through the jewelry store window and steals the ring. She realizes from Stanley’s strange behavior and the bright moon that something has happened. She then screams at him for not telling her and for monopolizing her last hours alive, making a lot of good points.
She finally accepts his sincerity. They buy some champagne and head back to her place. Just as they arrive, the storms start. When they aren’t instantly incinerated, Stanley starts to think he might have been wrong; maybe it was only a solar flare, and they can survive.
I went back and forth on how I expected it to end, so I was destined to be surprised; or disappointed. Ultimately, Outer Limits just couldn’t go dark enough to burn the earth to a cinder. Alien invasions are one thing, but they seem to draw the line at total annihilation.
Another good episode.
- Based on a short story by Larry Niven.
- Joanna Gleason (Leslie) is the daughter of Monty Hall, and married to Chris Sarandon.
- The physics paper being graded by the professor is “prepared by Darla Nathorst.” Nathorst is credited as Transportation Coordinator on many Outer Limits Episodes, though strangely not this one.
- And he gave her a C — bastard!