Outer Limits – Josh (03/06/98)

The last time I watched an episode with Kate Vernon, it was so uninteresting that I just ended up just posting sexy pictures of her. This episode is better, unfortunately.

Allison James and her young daughter Sarah are hiking in Gold Mountain National Park, Alaska. [1] After a misstep, Sarah takes a lengthy tumble down the side of the mountain.  Her mother reaches her just seconds before the titular Josh.  She begs him to go for help, but he is suspiciously adamant that her Mom go for help and he stay with the unconscious teenage girl.

Mom goes for help.  Of course, the man has nothing salacious in mind.  Although it is strange that he places each hand in the two areas where the fabric is most worn on the doll in the psychiatrist’s office.  His head and strangely only one of his hands glows as he brings the girl back to consciousness.  Unfortunately, he is caught on camera by some other hikers.

The tape finds its way to reporter Judy Warren of the TV show Hot Pocket Topic.  She and her cameraman Todd go to Josh’s cabin in the mountains.  He claims to run a center in Utah that helps the homeless and the poor, which is probably what I would tell Kate Vernon too.  However, she has done some checking and can find no evidence that he exists, which is probably what she would tell me.  When confronted with the tape of his glowing hand healing the girl, he calmly says it is a fake, and boots her out for clandestinely recording their conversation.

She and Todd see Josh drive off, and seconds later his cabin explodes in the same blue light.  She calls him; he says he is “going home” and begs her to leave him alone.  Judy tells him that he is news and there is nowhere he can run.  One place he can run is out-of-gas.  He is able to fill a jug with water and use his glowy hands — unlike merely resurrecting a human being, this is a two hand job [2] — to turn it into gas.  He doesn’t get far before being cut off by Judy and the Air Force.

The General says satellites detected an EMP two days ago when Josh healed the girl.  Tonight when the cabin exploded, the EMP knocked out the satellites.  The General has him strapped to a gurney.  When they begin torturing him, he explodes into a light show that gives each person a different vision.  When they find out he is some kind of uber-man that might have some answers as to why we are here, or the key to living in peace on earth, the government decides he has to be killed.

Judy is able to rescue Josh and they escape from the secure underground bunker.  Their Scofieldian escape plan is summed up by Judy’s line as they drive away, “I can’t believe how lucky we were getting out of there.”  Josh leads them to a mountain-top where he is taken back home or to Jesus or to a UFO.  That’s about it.

Screenwriting 101 (I’m being sarcastic — the 101 is backwards)

I appreciate that there were no answers given.  Everyone got their few seconds to call him a demon or an an angel, God or Jesus, an alien or just a regular ol’ threat to national security.  Alex McArthur was excellent at making all possibilities believable.  I mean, just crazy-good.

I could watch Kate Vernon all day.  Unfortunately, the script does have her tough reporter character get a little hysterical and needy at the end.  But, hey, if Hiker-Jesus were leading me up a mountain, how cool would I be?

The script was a little talky.  It also was pretty superficial with the reactions to this supernatural being, and discussions of choices, decisions, and free-will.  However, I’m a sucker for this sort of quasi-religious / what-is-he / government cover-up kind of show.  So, more good stuff from The Outer Limits.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] Thank God they placed this in a fictional park rather than scaring off visitors to Denali or Glacier Bay who might think this is a documentary.
  • [2] Heehee, hand job.
  • Judy’s cameraman (Grant Heslov) also posed as a cameraman in True Lies, played TV Crew on MANTIS, and was National Enquirer Photographer in The Birdcage.  Maybe he brings his own camera.
  • Title Analysis:  Just some lazy shit, unworthy of the episode.

2 thoughts on “Outer Limits – Josh (03/06/98)

  1. Agree, very good episode..Although, I don’t think even super -sophisticated science can turn water into a carbon-based compound like gasoline. God can do it. Anyway, could use more shows like this.

  2. The proper name Jesus /ˈdʒiːzəs/ used in the English language originates from the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous), a rendition of the Hebrew Yeshua (ישוע), also having the variants Joshua or Jeshua.[1][2] In a religious context the name refers to Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. (from Wikipedia)

    “Josh” is the diminutive form of “Joshua.” I think the writer of this episode wanted Josh to clearly represent Christ, returning to earth. So many parallels to the Christian New Testament that are hard to miss.

    This episode is part of my forthcoming thesis on how to find God, good and evil in the context of six contemporary films/videos. Thus, I landed here, since there’s not much to be found about this particular episode. You did a good summary of it.

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