Outer Limits – Last Supper (01/31/97)

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“Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration.” What the hell?

From the intro:  “Events in our past seem to slip further away with time.”  Well, duh.

Star athlete Danny Martin brings his new girlfriend home to meet his parents.  She is named Jade as are all mysterious Chinese women on TV.  This is also a coincidence of Lou Gehrigian proportions as she has freakishly green eyes.

Awkward:  Danny’s father Frank immediately recognizes her as a girl he tortured 20 years earlier when he was in the army.  He remembers her screaming in pain while strapped to a chair.  I took an immediate dislike to Frank (Peter Onorati) because he has one of them butt-chins. [1]  Also for torturing a cute girl, but mostly the chin thing.

Rather than try to avoid being recognized, Frank begins making the usual small dinner-table talk about where she is from, if she has ever been to Virginia, if she ever had a car battery clamped to her nipples.  While Danny and Jade go upstairs to fool around, Frank has another flashback.  Turns out, he was merely a witness to the torture.  He was standing guard as Doctor Sinclair injected her with chemicals to test her blood.

Shockingly, eight minutes into the episode when they are alone, Jade tells him his memory is correct.  Quite reasonably, however, he assumes she is the daughter of the girl who was experimented on.  At that very minute, in a nearby town, a scarred Dr. Sinclair sees her in a news clip with Danny as he has just been MVP of whatever sport he plays.  Sinclair thought he was the only survivor of that explosion at the lab.

Not a good night for the Martin men.  Frank’s past has come back to haunt him.  Then after dinner, Danny’s mother — let’s call her Carol — tells him that he and Jade will not be sleeping together under her roof.

Frank again flashes back to that night.  When Sinclair and his staff take a torture break, he enters the operating room to see the screaming girl.  She begs him to let her go.  Frank is caught by Sinclair as he is carrying Jade to safety.   Through a freak accident, a gunshot sets off a gas tank [2] and explodes Frank and Jade right out the 2nd floor window like Darkman.

When Frank and Jade are alone again, he asks her if he is her father.  Poor Danny is cock-blocked for the second time as Frank says she can’t be with his son because he would be her step-brother!  OK, maybe he isn’t quite as prudish as Carol since “step-sibling porn” is decades in the future.[3]  She finally tells him that she is the girl he saved in the lab.

She says she is centuries old.  When she was a teenager, the Black Plague swept through her village in northern Spain.  Wait, were there Chinese people in 14th century Spain?  Did they live in Chinapueblo?  Is that why there were no cats around to catch the disease-ridden rats?  OK, settle down.  Jade even shows him her portrait in a book of paintings from the 18th century English Romantic Period, reasonably thinking the Cubist book would offer little proof of her identity.

After she goes up to bed, Frank again thinks back to that rainy night night long ago, when he rescued the beautiful girl from sadistic doctors . . . when, scared and alone, they found comfort in each other’s arms . . . where they hid out in an abandoned warehouse . . . and how he banged the shit out of his future daughter-in-law.  Carol asks if he is coming up to bed.  He fortuitously has the art book in his lap, and says he’ll be along soon.

He goes upstairs alright, but takes a detour to Jade’s room — they sure seem to end up alone a lot.  This time, she takes the opportunity to show him a crescent wrench shaped birthmark that he would surely remember 20 years later.  She drops her top and he touches it, just below her bare breasts.  And . . . in walks Danny.  No, now this is awkward!

Frank tries to explain, but Danny punches him out.  When Carol comes down to see what is going on, Danny immediately rats his father out.  Jade comes downstairs and pleads for everyone to listen to her and Frank’s story.

Dr. Sinclair breaks in and ties everyone up at gunpoint.  He hooks an IV up to Jade to get some of that magic blood.  The blood does clear up his complexion, but it goes further, transforming into a younger man, a boy, a baby — I guess a fetus would have been a little too pro-life, so the baby just devolves directly into a puddle of goo.

At least this proves to Carol and Danny that Frank’s and Jade’s story was true.  The next morning, Jade goes out to wait for a cab.  As his parents watch from a window, Danny goes out and kisses her.  So I guess everything is alright, but these are going to be some tense-ass Thanksgivings.

There was very little science-fiction to be had here.  In fact, it seemed more like one of the recent melodramatic 1980s Twilight Zones.  Somehow, it works though.  Maybe it was Sandrine Holt’s performance as Jade and some solid directorial choices.

I rate it a medium well-done.

Post-Post:

  • [1] Seriously, I can tolerate only about five people on this list.  It would have been six, butt they somehow left off the most famous butt-chin in motion picture history.
  • [2] Just as in Halloween II.
  • [3] I read somewhere recently that the most searched term in porn is now “step-sister”.  Of course, trying to find the original article just returned a million porn sites in Google.  Two hours later . . .
  • Title Analysis:  I think I get it.  This was literally the last supper this family would have before their relationship was changed forever.  But is the dinner itself really that important?
  • Well-directed by Helen Shaver, previously seen in The Sandkings.

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