Outer Limits – Lithia

When it came to pass that the men of the Earth could not make peace among themselves, and so took up arms against one another, the fires of hatred rained down upon the land, laying waste to all that was good and gentle.  Those who survived saw death and destruction all around . . . it was called The Great War.  And in the days that followed there was more death as a miasma called fallout bore down on the survivors.  But even then, the men who had made the Earth a fiery hell saw not the error of their ways.  So the Goddess raised her mighty hand, and wrecked vengeance upon them and the men who remained fell victim one by one . . . to the Scourge.  The Scourge cleansed the Earth of evil, singling out the men and leaving the women unscathed.  And the Goddess saw that the evil was gone and the men were no more, and she unfurled the fingers of her hands and she made a sign of blessing among the females who now inherited the sea and the sky, the land and all its bounty.  And when the males of the Earth had vanished, so too did wickedness and war and hatred and the peace and the glory of her kingdom was restored.  Let us say “Praise Goddess”.

— Ariel, shaping young girls’ minds in our future

Wow, I haven’t heard that kind of bigotry and hatred since I accidentally turned on MSNBC in a hotel room a couple of years ago.  While it has been men leading the charge in our wars, it has not been every man.

Maybe some grizzled old veteran could have taught her that The Great War was already used by WWI.  Maybe some nerdy, bow-tied English teacher could have told her that she meant wreaked or wrought and not wrecked.  Maybe Christopher Hitchens could have suggested that while the invisible man in the sky might be unlikely, arbitrarily changing him to a woman is just Ludcris.  But no, those three male-genitalled bastards were just evil, so let’s teach the little girls to laugh at their extinction.  Now the virtuous, peaceful women are free to live in a pastoral community, haul carts around like horses, live without electricity, clean clothes on a rock, and shit in a hole.

However, man has entered the forest farm.  Ariel’s class is interrupted by Major Jason Mercer who staggers in and collapses.  He says he volunteered for a 6-month experimental cryo-sleep, but has just awakened in 2055.  The Elder — named Hera, naturally [1] — informs him that 99% of the population has died.  99%?  So maybe Goddess wasn’t all that crazy about women, either.

He slowly becomes part of the community and the women’s acceptance of him ranges from “cast him out” to “the showers are for everyone.”  When he sees that the women are grinding wheat by turning a big wheel in the ground like Conan, he immediately thinks about ways to engineer a more efficient process.  The bastard!  It turns out a neighboring community is on the verge of producing electricity, so he wants to barter a deal.

So, women are in charge, and the leader still wears a hijab? Which side won this war? Also, I like the hand-crank TV. Even the professor on Gilligan’s Island couldn’t figure that out.

To be fair, after the anti-man screed at the beginning of the episode, there is nuance and complexity.  Mercer’s presence, the introduction of electricity, and trade with other enclaves lead the women to show they are not above petty jealousy, violence,  and saber-rattling.  But he is to blame for some of the trouble, too.  While it might seem sexist that it took a man to bring technology to this enclave, don’t forget the neighboring enclave managed to get a hydro-electric dam back online with no dudes.

There is a twist, maybe two depending on how you count.  They are both fine, but not really necessary.  Another good episode.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] There is reason to believe she gave herself this godly name.
  • The episode was written by a man, but directed by a woman.
  • C’mon, a lesbian shower scene, two hetero sex scenes, we’re on cable, and still no nudity?

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